NHS Use Case - Comapi

NHS – Going Mobile First

Whilst adopting a mobile-first approach, using a mix of SMS

and in app messaging, help NHS Blood & Transplant to reduce missed

appointments and boost app engagement and general interactivity

Business requirement

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) are responsible for maintaining blood stocks across all blood groups, especially those in greatest demand throughout the UK. To maintain levels, NHSBT must attract 200,000 new donors each year to replace those who are no longer able to donate.

Traditionally, NHSBT have used many channels of communication to engage with their wide and diverse donor base. This approach is both expensive and operationally, complicated to coordinate, in such a large organisation. NHSBT see “mobile” as crucial and are focussed on a strategy to deliver all message content and administrator donor activity via purely “digital channels” accessible on smart devices

Automated, real-time communication via SMS, as part of a donor’s individual journey between, on the lead-up to and post-appointments is widely used with between 20,000 and 60,000 text messages deployed daily.

In 2015, NHSBT launched the mobile native NHS Blood app, available on both Android and Apple iOS platforms. App functionality includes the booking and rescheduling of appointments, making the process of donating blood, easy and convenient. In addition, the app’s visual presence on a donor’s mobile device, acts as a constant visual reminder to the donor, reinforcing brand and service awareness.


Notifications boosted app engagement rates by over 300%

99.997% platform availability for mission critical messaging

Reduced frequency of missed appointments by 25%

Business objectives

  • Keep donors clearly informed of up and coming appointments with the information required to minimise the risk of “missed appointments”
  • Add additional mobile device orientated channels, to drive donations and compliment operational SMS
  • Create a permanent visual reminder of the Blood Service on mobile devices, and attract younger donors who are already familiar with engagement via native mobile apps
  • Consider the future, with mobile a strategic focus, and grow the communications channels

Technical objectives

  • Deliver mission critical operational information via SMS to maximise reach to a wide demographic. The solution must be integrated to the NHSBT platform, for triggered messages using legacy SOAP interfaces
  • A high availability SMS API platform capable of handling large volumes of messaging, delivered in real time
  • An IP messaging service that can extend beyond app to website, and emerging channels when required
  • A future messaging service that supports a mechanism to deliver HTML rich content to an app inbox to replicate established email communications
  • A solution that registers a user account that can support multiple devices associated with a single user
  • Provide the NHSBT in-house team with a simple UI to enable simple push notification broadcasts to the app
  • An app messaging platform supporting segmentation, defined within the NHSBT donor database

Solution delivery

SMS platform integration

SMS platform integration was carried out using a SOAP interface due to legacy system, data transfer secured over HTTP TLS. User journey messages are delivered throughout the period leading up-to and post-appointment

Registration requirements

Core SDKs for iOS and Android implemented, allowing registration requirements to be met and opening up push notification channels into the app

User registration

User registration, achieved with email address being used within the Comapi platform as the unique app user ID, stitching multiple devices together under a single user profile within the app eco system

NHS segmentation

Segmentation groups are imported from the NHSBT donor database and passed into the Comapi platform via secure FTP using Excel CSV format files, driving Push notification campaigns

Emergency segmentation

Emergency segmented campaigns are deployed as a matter of urgency to drive donations when blood levels are critical, using location and blood type criteria

Users that haven't registered

App users who have not registered are flagged within the Comapi platform and encouraged to do so, via standard lifecycle notifications

Functionality overview

Dependable SMS platform delivering mission critical, high volume messaging with uptime availability service level agreement exceeded at 99.997% uptime for our NHS Organisation

Flexible and secure FTP options for manual and semi-automated file transfer with between 20,000 and 60,000 “operational” SMS messages triggered daily from the NHSBT donor management platform

App eco system provides a simple registration process to capture existing customer ID with email chosen as the common data field for system integration for audience segmentation and triggered messaging

App push notifications, provides the NHS with a broadcast voice, boosting app engagement and raising brand awareness

Flexible integration via API and secure FTP options for manual and semi-automated file transfer

Future-proofed technical solution with roadmap to include both website integration and rich inbox support for both native apps and website

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