Howden Medical Centre – Expanding patient communications – N3i

Case Studies
Digital Transformation Service

Howden Medical Centre

Howden Medical Centre is a Practice based in Howden, East Riding of Yorkshire. Howden is part of Cygnet PCN and the wider Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership.


The Digital Journey Planner (DJP), created by Redmoor Health in partnership with NHS England. N3i worked in close partnership with Redmoor as the locality co-ordinator for practices undertaking the DJP to provide additional support and expertise where required.

The DJP is an innovative online self-assessment tool designed to enhance the knowledge, comprehension, and processes of GP practices with the objective of advancing practice digital maturity.

The DJPs first module, patient communications, has been commissioned by NHS England and is available to all practice teams throughout the country at no cost.

The Challenges

Having a complete digital front door and solid communications is integral for managing access and maintaining good relationships with a patient population. There are a number of popular communications channels that GP practice often underutilise which may have a detrimental effect on the practice communication:

  • Google Business: Google Business is a really quick and easy way for GP practices to communicate basic information about the practice to patients like opening hours, phone numbers and location.
  • Google reviews: Patients often leave reviews on Google for all kinds of businesses. By not checking these reviews practices may miss out on important feedback and by not addressing negative reviews they may worsen patient relationships.
  • Unofficial Facebook pages: It is common for patients to “check-in” to GP practices on Facebook. Facebook algorithms amalgamate user date and information on search engines to create unofficial pages for GP Practice. This user content can create a very unprofessional impression for practices and created issues with GDPR.
  • NHS service finder: If practices are not registered on NHS service finder it makes their services harder for patients to find.

The key learnings from this module are that overall, we are happy with where we are currently, but this has highlighted areas that we could improve and make changes to that will continue to improve our patient communications. It has also highlighted to us several things that we had not considered ourselves. We have received support from Sally our locality co-ordinator from N3i whilst completing the DJP modules and are due to speak to her again in the coming weeks as we continue to work through our actions and make change.

The Solution

Howden Medical Centre was able to use the Digital Journey Planner’s patient communications module to improve several elements of their patient communication. The Patient Communications module helps GP Practices think about various communication methods within the practice and how they fit together.

The module is divided into questions that cover the following 4 areas for assessment.

  • Introduction: an overview of how digital communications are embedded within the practice.
  • Messaging: asks about the effective use of messaging, clinical system messaging and additional messaging software
  • Website: asks about the elements of your website that patients most commonly request along with technical information and essential requirements to meet regulations and good practice to save you time.
  • Social Media: asks about your use of social media platforms as part of your communications, so you can use social media effectively and safely within your practice.


Howden Medical Centre was able to address a number of improvement areas highlighted by the DJP:

  • They were not signed up to the NHS service finder, the practice has subsequently registered.
  • The practice had not claimed their Google Business profile as they were not aware this was something they were able to do. The practice is in the process of claiming their Google business profile.
  • Claiming the practice Google Business profile has highlighted unaddressed reviews on Google. The practice has found the previously unidentified feedback helpful to review.
  • The practice has reviewed its privacy settings on its Facebook page and has reported an unofficial Facebook page for the practice to Facebook.

Click to learn more about Redmoor Health and the Digital Journey Planner.

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