Time for take off – Our Waiting Room is coming to yours.

The Waiting Room Smart Directory (TWR), as an initial concept, was born out of the fact that paper-based directories were often out of date before the ink had dried and online alternatives were difficult to navigate. This meant that the public didn’t know what services were available and how to access those services which in turn puts a greater strain on Primary Care Services further along the road. In 2015, during a Peer Support Programme for men known as ManMade, the issue of limited knowledge regarding services was raised by the attendees but it was notable that these men had both supermarket key-fobs with Quick Reference codes and SMART phones – From this The TWR key fob was born with its own unique QR code providing communities and professionals with an easy to share approach to accessing online service information through a single website based directory.

TWR keys

This is a photo of the TWR Key Fob
TWR is all about helping people help themselves and feel empowered to make informed choices about the services that may be able to support them. From its original development back in 2015 for Birmingham and Solihull citizens accessed through the TWR key fob and giving access to around 100 services, today TWR has over a 1000 local and national services listed in 24 Life Domain sections that are instantly accessible online, through the key fob, posters, merchandise (mugs, stickers and pens) as well as the Birmingham and Solihull CCG supported TWR App found in the App store (Apple) and Google Play (Android).

This is a screenshot from the App store
Service information can be shared by text, email as well as Facebook, Linked-in, and Twitter. It receives over 10,000 hits locally per month and enables both professionals and the public to find services to best meet need from Safeguarding concerns and Criminal Justice support to Faith Community Links, Education, employment and sexual health services – in fact, TWR links people with support opportunities across the life course in all aspects of life. It is, we believe, the one-stop health and wellbeing information resource for Birmingham and Solihull communities.

Keys to date have been distributed through a range of supporting bodies including Public Health, Birmingham City University, HMP Birmingham, West Midlands Police and Fire Service, the Birmingham Adult Safeguarding Network, Jaguar Landrover and the wider Third Sector.

With its own Contact Management System, TWR can be easily added to or edited and new services can be proposed directly though the website Add A Service option.

TWR Launches into the Doctors Surgery

The current uptake of TWR has been remarkable but I feel we have barely scratched the surface in reaching communities in a way that will make a real difference. The introduction of the new Birmingham and Solihull CCG funded, NHS branded key fob for distribution across every practice can only be of benefit to both practitioners and patients alike and we hope that through your support more people will know where to go when they need help.

Poster of TWR for GP surgeries
So if you are based in Birmingham or Solihull, look out for TWR in your GP Practice between February and May 2020 which includes the key fobs and posters. You may also want to check out the download section of the website where you can access the video’s that can be used on GP Waiting Room monitors (or any monitors), online posters for printing and more information besides to support the roll out of TWR.

If you are thinking of bringing TWR to your area/organisation, or just want to know more about TWR then please feel free to get in touch.

Follow us on twitter @TWR_org

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