Health & Digital: An evaluation of the Widening Digital Participation programme

This evaluation report examines the huge crossover between those who are digitally excluded and those who are at risk of poor health.

221,941 people trained to use digital health resources and tools over three years

59% of learners feel more confident using online tools to manage their health

65% of respondents feel more informed about their health

In July 2013 Good Things Foundation and NHS England began the three-year Widening Digital Participation programme, aiming to help more than 220,000 people improve their digital health skills.

In our changing world, most information, social interaction, shopping, and services like banking, are now online and accessed using computers and smartphones. An estimated 12.6 million people in the UK do not have the basic skills needed to make use of some of these services.

Research suggests that these people are most likely to be socially excluded, hard to reach, and suffer from poor health.

Borrowing the phrase from Martha Lane Fox, this programme was aiming to ‘reach the furthest first’ and not leave anyone behind.

"There is a huge crossover between those who are digitally excluded, those who are socially excluded, and those at risk of poor health. The Widening Digital Participation programme aimed to see how action on one front could influence the others."

Helen Milner

CEO, Good Things Foundation