Digital champions key to tackling distrust in online health confidentiality
A lack of skills and a distrust of health information online are two of the biggest barriers for patients to use the internet, according to new research.
The research found that specially trained health and social care staff and volunteers can support individuals to safely and confidently manage their health online. This increases their confidence to use digital health tools, according to the research, which was carried out by NHS Digital and Digital Unite1, with support from and Brent CCG, Harrow CCG, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Waltham Forest CCG and North East London NHS Foundation Trust.
The research also found that 58% of existing digital champions had been asked by learners for assistance in using search engines to find health information about their specific conditions.
11.9 million people (22%) do not have the essential digital skills needed for day-to-day life in the UK. By 2030 it is forecast that 4.5 million UK adults will remain digitally disengaged unless there is a step change in the provision of digital skills and confidence2.
Digital champions provide flexible, ongoing digital skills support that is tailored for the needs of their learner. They may be NHS staff, volunteers, friends, family or neighbours, all interacting with the people who need better digital skills.
A range of learning resources are available for those wishing to become digital health champions. They include guidance and best practice, shared spaces for collaboration and examples of digital health champion networks.
Nicola Gill, Programme Lead at NHS Digital, yesterday said:
“We are committed to ensuring everyone has the confidence, skills and means to access and use digital health services and tools, particularly the most excluded. When it comes to health it’s incredibly important that people are helped in a personal and empathetic way and we know that digital health champions make that difference.”
Emma Weston, Chief Executive of Digital Unite, yesterday said:
“We know that it is people who make digital work for people, especially beginners and the less confident. That’s why digital champions can be such a game changer in supporting and sustaining digital skills. Alongside NHS Digital we have discovered new opportunities for digital champions in health and a genuine passion and enthusiasm for doing something different and creative. We’ve been delighted to collaborate with health organisations on our new CPD-accredited Digital Health Champions Network that will enable staff and volunteers to confidently help patients manage their health online.”
Read the full report
Notes for Editors
- Established since 1996, Digital Unite is one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning and the only organisation that focuses exclusively on vocational training and support for Digital Champions. www.digitalunite.com.
- Lloyds Digital Index 2019 - https://www.lloydsbank.com/banking-with-us/whats-happening/consumer-digital-index.asp
Latest News from
Secure access to health data improved to aid coronavirus research20/11/2020 12:25:00
Researchers working on projects related to COVID-19 are benefitting from a new service for studying vital health data quickly and securely.
NHS Digital publishes information on ethnicity recording in the NHS to aid planning and research for COVID-1920/11/2020 09:15:00
The Ethnic Category Coverage Management Information, published yesterday by NHS Digital, uses data from the GPES Data for Pandemic Planning and Research (GDPPR) and Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data sets to show the recorded ethnicity of patients, broken down by Clinical Commissioning Group.
Neighbourhood coronavirus cases and 111 telephone figures shown in new public dashboard18/11/2020 09:15:00
NHS Digital has published the Coronavirus Neighbourhood View dashboard which shows numbers and rates of coronavirus cases confirmed through testing across England and NHS Pathways 111 telephone assessments with potential coronavirus symptoms.
National project shows digital inclusion is key to tackling health inequalities17/11/2020 09:15:00
Tackling the ‘digital divide’ is crucial to reduce health inequalities, a three-year project trialling digital technology with disadvantaged communities has found.
NHS saves around £75m a year thanks to historic public sector data network migration13/11/2020 14:20:00
NHS Digital has completed the largest known public sector data network transition programme, saving the NHS an estimated £75m a year and providing organisations with faster connectivity at reduced cost.
Statistics on safeguarding published in two new reports out today13/11/2020 09:15:00
NHS Digital yesterday released new figures on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and Safeguarding Adults in two publications.
New social care standards support more personalised care11/11/2020 09:15:00
New standards for integrating key health and social care information will ensure services can work together better to provide more personalised care.
NHS Digital signs deal that will improve data sharing across different organisations10/11/2020 09:15:00
NHS Digital has signed a deal with DXC Technology and CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, that will make mapping clinical and administrative codes between different health and care organisations, and their contracted technology suppliers, faster and easier thanks to a new terminology server.