An award-winning pilot project showing people how to access local health, social care and wellbeing services in Torbay using the internet has been awarded further funding to expand its work in Torbay.
Last year we developed a free training and information resource for the public to show them exactly how they can use the internet to access health and social care services such as online appointment-booking, prescription-ordering and self-referral systems. In October 2018 the pilot project in Torbay won a national ‘Highly Commended’ award in the ‘Giving people the advice and information they need’ category at the 2018 National Healthwatch Excellence Awards.
The Healthwatch Torbay Digital Inclusion Project was an Ageing Well Torbay funded project that helps reduce social isolation in older people by showing them exactly how they can use the internet to access health and social care services such as online appointment-booking, prescription-ordering and self-referral systems. Ageing Well Torbay is a 6 year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery Funding.
Healthwatch Torbay has been successful in its recent funding application to Ageing Well Torbay to develop the project further. This includes adding online benefit advice and other health and social care resources available using the internet that are local to Torbay. They are looking to deliver the training via various different community drop in sessions and even home visits and digital ‘parties’.
They are also redeveloping the training section into a tool which will offer people the chance to complete a free online training course in their own time, from the comfort of their own device and become a community ‘Digital Health Champion’. The new website training will be launched in March 2019.
Pat Harris, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Torbay says: “Our new training will create the tools for people to become more empowered, more confident in using systems online, through a trusted local resource.
I’d like to thank our main project funders, Ageing Well Torbay, for supporting us to do this. Their funding has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to meet the needs that Torbay’s residents were telling us about, and to increase digital inclusion to the over 50s.
We are hoping that through our training services and e-learning tool we can develop a network of digital champions to support the people they know or work with, to be ‘digital health’ friendly.”