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Launching the Nursing Times app: how Emap listened to the frontline

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When the idea of launching a Nursing Times app was floated a few months ago I was cautiously excited.

The need for an app was obvious. Since becoming online editor a year ago, I’ve watched as the number of you accessing on phones and tablets has dramatically increased.

But I’ve worked in the NHS and know that although a needed change might be obvious to the frontline, it doesn’t always filter up, in any organisation. So I held back on my optimism until the moment we actually pushed the button and made the app live.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the people reading this have felt the same at some point in their nursing career. It doesn’t take a genius to see that those on the frontline will be the first to spot potential patient care improvements, yet how often are they involved in the decision making?

That’s why we got involved with the Change Challenge.

The Change Challenge, or “Challenge Top-Down Change” to give it its formal title, aims to use crowdsourcing to give everyone working in the NHS, or using one of its services, a chance to put forward their ideas for implementing change within the health service.

Even those without a ground-breaking idea were able to vote on others, resulting in a set of ideas already peer-reviewed. The campaign has so far had a massive 7,500 contributions, giving us the first ever socially constructed roadmap for change in the NHS.

The next stage is to collect stories of change and experimental ideas on how to apply the changes put forward in stage one. You can get involved and make your voice heard on the Challenge Top-Down Change website.

Going back to our big change, the Nursing Times app hit both the App Store and Google Play last month and I’m delighted to say our wonderful readers have proved me right by downloading it in droves.

Subscribers can now download the app on Apple and Android absolutely free as part of their subscription, and access a whole range of content including rolling news and the latest practice. Just log in with the same details you use on the website. If you’re a subscriber but you’ve never used the website you will need to activate your subscription, a two-minute job that will give you access the thousands of practice articles, plus our range of online learning units on fundamental nursing topics.

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