The Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Partnership are bringing the use of health and care app recommendation to the North West via ORCHA (the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications).

ORCHA CEO, Liz Ashall-Payne, a Speech Therapist herself, founded the company after wanting to use apps to support her clients and patients but struggling with the over-crowded market. "There's no doubting that apps can make a massive difference to how we care for our patients and clients, but with over 303,000 health and care apps on the market, and no defined clarity of standards, it was practically impossible to confidently embrace them."

ORCHA helps to remove the 'white noise' surrounding the health app market by:

  1. reviewing all of the health and care apps on Google Play and the App Store against key concerns such as Data Security, Clinical Effectiveness and User Experience, and
  2. developing app libraries (websites) in which to house these app reviews so that the best apps can be easily searched for and compared.

Liz continues: "By visiting for free, members of the public and health and care professionals alike can search apps by keyword or category (eg physiotherapy, speech, pain, etc), knowing that all of the apps on there have been robustly reviewed so that they can find the best ones for themselves (and/or their patients/clients)."

Importantly, ORCHA also includes 'Pro Accounts' with the ability to recommend specific apps to specific individuals via text or email, so that AHPs can, for example, give their clients and patients further tools to continue their care after they leave the consulting room. Linda Vernon, Digital Leader for the STP and an MSK Physiotherapist explains: "I've always been able to give my patients advice to take away, but now with ORCHA I can confidently recommend apps to help them with exercises, pain management, and tracking their progress."

As these accounts have been paid for by the STP, all AHPs in Lancashire and South Cumbria can get involved and start recommending apps for free. In order to sign up for an ORCHA Pro Account:

  1. navigate to 
  2. click 'Sign Up', then
  3. input your details - plus this ‘upgrade code’: LANCSAHP01.

Alternatively, send your name(s), email address(es), work postcode(s) and occupation(s) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he’ll arrange for your account (or your team’s accounts) to be set up for you.

If you’re not based in Lancashire or South Cumbria but would still like to get involved, contact Andy at the email address above to discuss your options.