A re-work and a fresh new look for an NHS tool supporting mental health patients in Sussex.

Client: Voices Clinic

The Sussex Voices Clinic is an NHS service which supports patients experiencing ‘Voice hearing.’ ‘Voice hearing’ generally means hearing someone or something talking, when the source of the voice isn’t physically present. This can be positive and pleasant for some, but for others the voices can be negative and critical in what they say, resulting in an unwanted experience.

The challenge

The ‘Choices’ mobile app is a tool to support patients experiencing Voice hearing, by helping with coping strategies, responding assertively to the voices, and through reshaping core beliefs. The app had become out of date, and the clinic wanted a new version in line with the high standards of care they offer. The app would also support a new therapy program they were launching in September 2022.

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How we solved the problem

The original Choices app was built using Cordova, which is an early cross-platform mobile programming framework. At DabApps we now use React Native, which is faster and more powerful, and also more commonly used for mobile apps. After working closely with the Voices clinic to re-design the app in line with the current patient needs, we built it in it’s new form, using React Native with Typescript.

As always, users’ data security is key for us, and we used libraries like Formik and Realm to handle and store this data securely and privately.

Choices also uses internationalisation which means that we can release the app in other languages, if the therapy program is rolled out more widely across the world.

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The finished app delivers exactly what we’d aimed for.

Dr Mark Hayward, Director of Research for Sussex NHS Foundation Trust