Manchester NHS

NHS Greater Manchester has been using Mobifi’s SMS text messaging service for people to contact its Stop Smoking Service and receive stop smoking support.

By introducing SMS text messaging campaigns this increases the accessibility of the Stop Smoking Service and thus increases the number of requests from people who need support or wish to quit. People can now contact the service outside normal working hours and they can do this immediately – whereas the use of telephone numbers may get lost or forgotten.

It is being used in a number of different campaigns and by utilising different keywords it provides valuable feedback to measure the success of each marketing ploy. For example, the keyword ‘Galaxy’ has been used for a target campaign with Galaxy Radio and the keyword ‘Smoke’ has been promoted on beer mats which were distributed to over 100 pubs in Manchester.

People send an SMS text to the Stop Smoking Service and then receive a call providing them with a list of support options, including local trained pharmacists where they live, nearest drop in sessions and also to book appointments with specialist stop smoking advisors.

The Stop Smoking Service records all referrals to the service and the method of referral. Therefore, it can break down the number of people using the SMS service according to the keyword received by SMS text (linked to each campaign) and the outcome of the conversation (e.g. referred to specialist advisor/pharmacist/info only, etc).

A Senior Public Health Development Advisor, at Manchester NHS, comments:“SMS text messaging is proving to be an efficient, cost-effective and controlled way for people to access the service. It is a good way for young people to access the service and with its ease of communication, its immediacy in terms of response and the way the success of each campaign can be measured are just some of the benefits.”

The texting service that we have is fantastic. It gives users the ability to contact us out of hours, also by changing the keyword we can assess the effectiveness of each of our marketing efforts

Edna Boampong, Head of Communications, Greater Manchester Public Health Network.