Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and HCI’s CONNECTPlus shortlisted for the 2021 HSJ Awards

person viewing app on phone

Published: 24 August 2021

We and HCI are delighted to announce that ‘CONNECTPlus: Reducing demand through empowering patients with multiple long term conditions to self manage’ has been shortlisted for the Driving Efficiency through Technology award at the HSJ Awards 2021.

Following the intense and in-depth judging process, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and HCI were shortlisted, ahead of the official awards ceremony to be held later this year (18 November). Standing out amongst tough competition from hundreds of other exemplary applicants, ‘CONNECTPlus: Reducing demand through empowering patients with multiple long term conditions to self-manage’ was selected based on ambition, visionary spirit and the demonstrable positive impact that the co-design and development of this unique app has had on both patient and staff experiences.

The CONNECTPlus multiple conditions app helps people to manage multiple conditions together and in one place. It is both informative and interactive and provides 24/7 access to clinically assured information with a range of features including symptom trackers, medication management and appointment reminders. 

Since the use of the app in Rheumatology and Neurology pathways we have reported seeing 43% fewer calls to department helplines as patients are finding answers to their queries in the app. They have also seen a huge saving in nurse clinic time with medication clinics reducing from 4 hours of nurse time a week to just 30 minutes. This has meant it is possible for nurses to prioritise their time to see patients requiring urgent treatment.

Despite the demanding circumstances of the past 18 months, over 1000 entries have been received for this year’s HSJ Awards, with 205 organisations, projects and individuals making it to the final shortlist. The volume and standards of applications has been a true testament to those health and social care staff, who continue to push outstanding work and transformational projects across the sector.

Dr Matt Halkes, Clinical Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation, and Consultant Anaesthetist, at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, also Clinical Director of Health and Care Innovations (HCI) said: “We are thrilled to be shortlisted for the Driving Efficiency through Technology award. This recognition really reflects the collaborative efforts and dedication of everyone involved in the development of CONNECTPlus, which has included our patients. Through the use of the CONNECTPlus app, we are better able to manage the increasing demands on our service by enabling patients to manage their own health and remain as independent as possible. Through supporting the shift to patient-initiated follow-up it reduces unnecessary face-to-face clinical contacts and releases staff time.

“Knowing that there was such stiff competition this year really does make this announcement feel like a wonderful achievement for everyone involved and the nomination has been a tremendous boost to staff at the Trust and HCI.”

HSJ editor Alistair McLellan said: “On behalf of all my colleagues, I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust on being nominated in the category of Driving Efficiency through Technology, in this year’s HSJ Awards. The applications we receive always present our panel of judges with a very difficult task as the standard is unfailingly high and the breadth of innovation and passion for patient care is always so inspiring.

“This year, we really have been overwhelmed with the level of entries, particularly when set against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and the huge challenges faced by our health and social care workforce.

“We are therefore looking forward to welcoming all our finalists to the live ceremony in November and joining us in celebrating their incredible achievements and commitment to excellence.”

The full list of nominees for the HSJ Awards 2021 can be found on

The selected winners will be announced during the awards ceremony at Evolution, London on 18 November 2021