What were you doing in July 2013? I’ll tell you what I was doing; I was anticipating the start of something great for Tinder Foundation as we embarked on a partnership with NHS England.
Long before we launched the now award winning Widening Digital Participation programme in the summer of 2013, we’d been talking internally about the correlation between health issues and digital exclusion. You can’t ignore facts, and the facts were showing a huge synergy between the two.
Two years into the three-year project, and the facts once again speak for themselves. I’m so glad we’re on this journey with NHS England at a time when the shift towards digital by default services has become even more widespread throughout health services in the UK, and the danger for people suffering health inequalities to be left behind becomes even greater.
Since the project began we have:
- Made 235,465 people aware of online health resources
- Trained 158,171 people to improve their digital health literacy – that means showing them how to access and use health resources, such as NHS Choices, to manage their health
- We’ve also trained over 4,000 volunteers to support other people to improve their health by using digital
- Provided grants to support over 200 community partners (each year of the project) to deliver digital health literacy training and support to people wanting to learn more.
The numbers are growing all the time, our partnerships – both local and national – are working. Great things are happening through digital.
But, there’s so much more we can do. We’re well underway with year three of the programme and we’re looking ahead to what happens when we finish in March 2016. But, I don’t think of it as the end because the last three years we have laid the (strong!) foundations – it’s just the start.
Read our new report, it identifies four key things we intend to do to extend the life of our work:
- Create capacity for our hyperlocal community partners so that they can continue doing what they do best
- Continue shouting about the work our partners are doing, and the benefits digital health literacy have
- Work with more GPs, make sure they understand the value of digital health literacy
- Focus on joined-up policy responses that promote local support for digital health training
If we can do this, then we can help so many more people, like the wonderful Amy, who’s story you can hear in this video: