Our Health Flagship centres developed and trialled innovative new ways to engage people in digital health, while the wider Digital Health Network helped people throughout the UK to improve their digital skills and access health information online.
387,470 people were reached through the phase 1 of the programme, raising awareness of digital health resources.
221,941 people have been trained to improve their digital health literacy since the beginning of the programme.
8,138 volunteers have been trained to support the programme.
Phase 1 key findings
- The Widening Digital Participation Programme successfully reached large numbers of people who are both digitally excluded and at risk of poor health by tapping into the Online Centres Network – 221,941 people have learned to use online health resources through the programme.
- Over half the participating centres worked with unemployed people, older people and/or people on low incomes as part of the programme. Disabled people, people with poor mental health and BAME communities were also engaged in large numbers.
Successful models for engaging and training people have included:
- Embedding digital health in digital inclusion and embedding digital health learning within wider digital skills training.
- Digital surgeries: engaging and training patients in a GP surgery.
- Community outreach events: engaging and training people through community outreach activities and events.
- Embedding digital health in informal learning: embedding digital health learning or awareness raising in non-digital activities such as healthy cooking classes.
- Training health and care professionals: training health and social care professionals to use digital health resources with the public.
- Social prescribing: referrals to Online Centres from within the health sector.
- 96% of centres used partnerships with other organisations in their local community to reach people and/or deliver digital health training.
- Many learners report going on to improve their diet, take up more exercise, reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption and find new ways to manage stress and anxiety.
- Learners felt that accessing reliable health information online empowered them to take greater control over self-management of their own health and engage in more informed dialogue with health professionals.
- In Year 2, more than 14,000 learners learned how to register with their GP and then use services.
- Of the 34% of learners who would have gone straight to their GP or A&E for non-urgent medical advice, almost half (46%) have since said they would first seek advice by visiting websites like NHS Choices (26%), going to a pharmacy (16%) or calling 111 (4%)