The Origins of Tailored Talks

Our digital platform Tailored Talks is currently being used by the NHS and charities in Scotland to support long-term condition management, but it hasn’t always existed in its current form.

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The inception of Tailored Talks traces all the way back to 2006, when a then 12-year-old Jack Francis (now Managing Director of Pogo Digital Healthcare) witnessed his father Neil suffering from a stroke while on holiday. During his recovery, Neil was given a 55 page booklet by the NHS, which caused confusion, poor self-management and a challenging decision-making process for the family. At a young age, Jack was made aware of the challenges faced both by NHS clinicians and patients with long-term conditions.

Years later, Jack was managing his own digital agency when he recognised how a software that had been built for a client could be utilised within healthcare, and thus the Tailored Talks concept was born. With help from Professor Martin Dennis, Chair of Stroke Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Tailored Talks went from idea to reality.

The initial version of Tailored Talks contained a library of content, which clinicians could use to create bespoke packages of information and share with patients. This content ranged from medical information to lifestyle advice for people recovering from a stroke, neurological conditions and critical care. This was designed to cut down on information overload, personalise care for patients and enable them to easily refer to the information at any time.

This form of Tailored Talks is still in use, but we recognised that clinicians are often time-poor, and may not be able to focus on creating Tailored Talks for each patient. This led to a new feature of the platform: the MyTailoredTalks patient portal. This enabled the platform to be used in a new integrated patient-led pathway, which we piloted and rolled out to support people living with Long Covid in the Lothian area.

The patient-led pathway enables clinicians to quickly refer patients, who can then login in and are invited to complete a short questionnaire. Information will be sent out based on their answers, covering physical symptoms, mental health and lifestyle advice as well as information around financial difficulties and returning to work. The pathway also links with our partners at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, who offer patients the opportunity to receive a call-back from the Advice Line team via the MyTailoredTalks patient portal.

The development of Tailored Talks over the years has been a long process involving trial and error, but we have been consistent in keeping patients at the heart of everything we do. By sticking to our values of innovation, inclusivity, compassion, empowerment and quality, we strive to deliver the best solutions we can, and we will continue evolving our platform to better serve the diverse needs of patients worldwide.