A place-based approach to enable digital health participation

Introduction

100% Digital Leeds are working with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to support health and care providers in Inner South Leeds to develop and test a place-based model for enabling inclusion to digitised health and care services. The model is being used to identify and remove barriers to delivery and inclusion in digitised health and care services with the goal of reducing health inequalities. The project was initiated in response to the Healthwatch Leeds Digitising Leeds series of reports.

The 100% Digital Leeds team are working closely with and strengthening partnerships between local healthcare providers and public and third sector organisations in the area. This is increasing the provision of digital access, skills, and support available locally, as well as improving awareness of and support to access digital health and care services. 

The project is already making a difference to communities of interest and patient cohorts in the area. In addition to the work that is happening on the ground in Beeston and Middleton, the 100% Digital Leeds team are using our learning from the pilot to develop a Structure and Intervention Model to enable the work to be scaled up and rolled out to other Local Care Partnership areas. This model will be presented for approval at the Personalised Care Steering Group – Digital Sub Group. 

Digital inclusion interventions can be complicated and can take a long time. There is no single intervention that will bring quick results with a direct line from increasing digital inclusion to improving health outcomes and reducing health inequalities. People are more than patients and they are more than their health condition. A digital health tool might not be the thing that motivates someone to become digitally included. But that might be the only digital thing that the ‘system’ wants them to do. 100% Digital Leeds takes a holistic view of digital inclusion: we have a ‘furthest first’ approach with an understanding that the people most likely to be digitally excluded are those who have other challenges that make it more difficult for them to engage. 

The approach

Community based

We support cross-sector collaboration, building on the assets of partners in a place or supporting a particular community. We bring together health services and organisations that support communities and co-design digital inclusion interventions based on the needs of the people they support. These partnerships identify the health needs of populations and opportunities to embed digital inclusion support into service offers, utilising specialist knowledge and expertise, and building on community assets.  A community can be defined by a particular locality or a demographic.

Holistic and person-centred

We recognise that barriers, needs, motivations and thus support needed differs from person to person. Co-producing inclusive interventions with local partners allows us to build a network of support that reflects the diverse digital inclusion and health needs of people and communities.

Sustainable

Strengthening the community to empower the person; being adaptive and flexible to the changing needs and priorities of an area or audience, and developing assets in response to this. Building an infrastructure of support that people can be referred into, and regularly sharing skills, knowledge, and resource across networks means that communities can continue to work in a connected and responsive way.

Integrated

Supporting organisations at the heart of communities to establish Digital Health Hubs, where service users can learn how to access relevant information and self-management tools to improve their health and wellbeing.  Digital Health Hubs involve closer cooperation between health and care services and organisations working with specific demographics with poorer health outcomes.  They tie digital inclusion and health literacy together and are as much about supporting improved health and wellbeing as they are about supporting people to have the skills, confidence, motivation, and connectivity to do more with digital.

Leading to better health outcomes

People having an informed choice with equal opportunity of access to inclusive digital services. This means people in a community can access the full range of available health services, appropriately and as necessary, at the right time, and in the right way for them.

Impact and outcomes to date

  • 276 Digital Champions trained across organisations and services working in the Local Care Partnership footprint, across community organisations and health services
  • £500,000 of external funding secured for partners working with people locally, to support digital inclusion initiatives including connectivity, devices, staff capacity, and programmes of activity
  • 5 key community organisations funded to implement the Digital Health Hub model within their services
  • Approximately 200 tablets with connectivity provided to digitally excluded people locally, enabling them to access services and develop their digital skills
  • Approximately 40 key staff at Leeds Community Healthcare trained to cascade Digital Champions training across the organisation, support services to be delivered in a more digitally inclusive way, improve referrals and work more closely with the third sector

Call for partners

100% Digital Leeds is a Council-led movement aimed at making Leeds the most digitally inclusive city for all. We do this by working with and within communities across the city to build capacity, connectivity, and confidence at a grassroots level, and to improve digital access, skills and support for those who need it most.

We work with partner organisations from across all sectors who already reach, understand, and have a trusted relationship with local people and communities most likely to be digitally excluded. We support these intermediary organisations to better understand and improve the digital inclusion of their service users by: training staff and volunteers to be Digital Champions; building organisational networks to promote partnership working and shared learning and resources; and, supporting organisations to increase their knowledge and capacity by highlighting relevant funding opportunities or connecting them with specialist organisations.

If your organisation supports people in the areas covered by these localised projects we would love to hear from you. Contact us, specifying that you would like to support this project and which area if applicable, and a Digital Inclusion Coordinator will be in touch.

Our goals:

  • More organisations in the area engaged with the 100% Digital Leeds programme
  • More Digital Champions active in the community
  • More resource brought into the area to tackle barriers to digital inclusion
  • Improved links between local organisations across all sectors and local healthcare providers
  • Improved third sector knowledge of health and care pathways and systems, putting organisations in a better position to support their service users to access health and care provision
  • Improved awareness of and signposting to digital inclusion support in the community
  • More residents benefiting from these interventions

This will be monitored using our existing evaluation framework.

If you would like to find out more or get involved contact us.

Webinar that took place Wednesday 11th November 2020

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