NHS Digital is attempting to help thousands more citizens improve their digital health skills, with the launch of the next phase of a three-year Widening Digital Participation (WDP) programme.
The project will develop 20 local digital inclusion pathfinder projects across all four NHS regions, over the next three years. The pathfinder projects will be delivered by NHS Digital, in conjunction with the Good Things Foundation.
The first two pathfinder networks are a project with Islington CCG working with young people with mental health problems and learning disabilities and a social prescribing project with Sheffield CCG, supporting older people with one or more long term conditions.
NHS Digital says one in ten people in England lack the confidence and skills to benefit from digital health technologies. The pathfinders will develop models for effective local partnerships to improve digital health skills and access to digital services and information. This will support patients in the move towards a more digitised NHS, particularly the most excluded in society, and gather evidence and lessons that will be shared throughout the NHS to improve future services.
The Widening Digital Participation (WDP) programme will include working with organisations such as Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and community groups in areas of high need.
WDP Programme Director at NHS Digital, Amanda Neylon, said: “We know that there is a strong correlation between digital exclusion and health inequalities. Through this project we hope to enable and support vulnerable people to take control of their own health care by providing them with the skills and confidence to go online and access digital health information and services.
“Good Things Foundation will bring a wealth of experience of reaching digitally and socially excluded groups and we are looking forward to working with them over the next three years”.
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