Community organisations in south Leeds have been working with 100% Digital Leeds and Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to develop a local network of Digital Health Hubs, places in the community where people can go to get support to get online and make the most of the internet to improve their health and wellbeing.
Next week the Digital Health Hubs are hosting a series of launch events, giving local people and partners the opportunity to find out more about the organisation’s services as well as the digital support on offer. Digital support includes helping people to develop their skills, lending and gifting digital equipment to those who can’t afford it, and help accessing health tools such as the NHS app, online GP services, and prescriptions.
A chance for partner organisations to offer their services to local communities
The launches are an opportunity for partners to reach local communities, and support will be on offer from a range of organisations and services including: Leeds Cancer Awareness Project offering information about early signs and symptoms of cancer, NHS screening, ways to reduce risk and the importance of early detection; Leeds Libraries supporting people to access their free online services like eBooks, online newspapers and magazines, and family history research tools; Patient Ambassadors supporting people in accessing healthcare appropriately for them; Green Doctors offering advice on utility bills including tariff comparison and switching, issues with energy suppliers, Priority Services Register sign up for vulnerable people, claiming the Warm Home Discount, and energy efficiency advice to save energy and use heating controls effectively.
There’s still time for organisations to partner with the Digital Health Hubs, by offering their services as part of the upcoming launch events and similarly supporting the delivery of the Digital Health Hub offer going forward.
Attend our launch events and find out about support available in the local community including help getting online
The launches are free and open for anyone in the community to drop-in, find out what’s available at their local centre, and learn more about digital support on offer. Partners are welcome to drop by to find out more about the Digital Health Hub offer, identify opportunities for signposting, and explore opportunities for partnership.
Wednesday 19th January, 11am – 3pm at Hamara Healthy Living Centre, Tempest Road, Beeston, LS11 6RD
An event to assist people with the things that matter the most to them. Attendees can expect Tai Chi, a houseplant sale, cancer screening, blood pressure checks and social prescribing, as well as digital support including skills support, equipment lending, and support to access health tools and apps. More information about Hamara.
Wednesday 19th January, 12noon – 3pm at BITMOs Gate, Belle Isle, Leeds LS10 3QH
Attendees can access support to improve their emotional and physical health by connecting with their community. This includes accessing social activities, exercise and movement classes, and health services, online and in person. Digital support will be available including skills support, equipment lending, and support to access health tools and apps. More about Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation.
Thursday 20th January, 1.30 – 3.30pm at Middleton Elderly Aid Social Centre, Acre Road, Middleton, LS10 4LF
A range of organisations will be available to help with anything from bus passes and blue badges to blood pressure checks, cancer screenings, social prescribing, and saving money on utility bills. People will be on hand to help people use their mobile phone, tablet or laptop while enjoying cake and a hot drink. More about Middleton Elderly Aid.
Friday 28th January, 10am – 12noon at St Matthew’s St Community Centre, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9NR
Find out more about the digital health hub offer including support to develop digital skills, equipment available for loan, and the range of services available at Holbeck Together and from other local partners.
What are Digital Health Hubs?
Digital Health Hubs are local spaces with friendly people ready to help the community build their skills and confidence, get online, and use the tools that can make it easier for them to manage their health and wellbeing. This includes supporting people to: engage with the NHS in the way that works best for them; make the most of tools that can help them understand and manage existing health conditions; use digital to improve wider determinants of health such as employment, housing, social inclusion, and financial inclusion.
Each organisation chosen to be a Digital Health Hub is at the heart of their local community, offering bespoke support services designed to best meet the needs of the community they work with and in. They’re trusted places where people feel safe and welcome. By working with key local organisations to embed digital inclusion support into existing services we can reach people where they are and utilise staff skills and knowledge of the local area and community, supporting a person-centred and holistic approach.
Each Digital Health Hub offer is different, designed to best meet the needs of the community, but they all have a core offer in common. Communities can get free support to borrow digital equipment with data and develop their digital skills and confidence to do what they would like to do online, like keeping in touch with family and friends or getting a food shop delivered. Staff can help people get set up with digital health tools like the NHS App to learn how to use the internet to access essential services like booking health appointments, managing prescriptions, and attend video appointments. These digital support services are embedded across each organisation’s wider offer, making the most of all opportunities to engage the community with motivational conversations and highlight the potential personal benefits of engaging with digital.
100% Digital Leeds’ role in supporting the development of Digital Health Hubs
100% Digital Leeds are working with Local Care Partnerships to develop a place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation. Learning from the success of partnering with Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours to develop Leeds’s first Digital Health Hub the Digital Health Hub model is at the core of the 100% Digital Leeds approach. The approach utilises the existing place-based cross-sector network to identify the trusted community partners with bases in the area and bring them together to develop their digital inclusion offer as a network. The initial focus is on developing digital infrastructure and building community capacity for delivering digital inclusion support. The LCP’s health partners help their third sector colleagues to understand the specific health needs of the local community and design bespoke digital inclusion interventions around those needs, to support improved health outcomes and increase digital health participation. Further partners from both community and health sectors support community engagement with the Digital Health Hubs through signposting. Sharing learning, resource, and best practice in such a way makes the development process as effective and efficient as possible, ensures each Digital Health Hub offer complements the others, and strengthens existing cross-sector relationships, making for more successful partnerships going forward.
The development of the Beeston and Middleton Digital Health Hub Network
100% Digital Leeds developed the place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation working with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership to develop Beeston and Middleton Digital Health Hub Network. £45,000 funding was made available for partner organisations to develop as Digital Health Hubs, paying for digital infrastructure such as equipment and connectivity, or staff capacity to develop and implement the project. Although developed in partnership, each Digital Health Hub is unique, building on the organisation’s existing assets, embedded within existing services and offers, and designed to meet the specific needs of the local community. Though each Digital Health Hub is an accessible space at the heart of the local community with a shared a core digital inclusion offer, each organisation has taken their own unique approach to developing their Digital Health Hub offer.
Hamara Healthy Living Centre
Hamara Healthy Living Centre in the heart of Beeston has over 20 years of supporting the diverse community with various health and support needs. They offer various activities to support members to stay active and connected to their community. As part of the digital health hub offer they are providing 1:1 digital support sessions, group training on using various health management apps including the NHS app and have a tablet lending scheme which comes with data for use in homes where there is no Wi-Fi. Members are also able to make an appointment at the centre to use the devices in reception and café area. Staff have received Digital Champion training ensuring that digital inclusion needs are considered as part of a holistic conversation whenever a person visits the centre, from using the foodbank to attending an ESOL lesson, and everything in between. They received funding to improve the centre’s Wi-Fi, buy equipment for use in the centre and as part of their tablet lending scheme, and to support staff capacity to develop and implement the project.
Middleton Elderly Aid
Middleton Elderly Aid aims to promote independence amongst the over 60s living in the Middleton area, through a range of activities and services. They are a dedicated organisation with trusted people on hand to help members to access the relevant tools and information to improve their health and wellbeing and gain the skills and confidence to do more digitally. As well as offering support in centre through digital classes Middleton Elderly Aid have embedded the offer into their outreach, engaging people with digital inclusion in their homes and helping with online services such as ordering repeat prescriptions, booking appointments, and accessing apps for weight loss, sleeping, exercise, and meditation. They support the improved connectivity of their members with Wi-Fi at the centre and a tablet lending scheme. They received funding to support staff capacity to deliver and implement the project.
Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation
Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation – known locally as BITMO – works on behalf of Leeds City Council to manage around 1,900 homes in the Belle Isle area. As well as being responsible for all the usual landlord tasks, such as collecting rent and repairing homes, BITMO also provides access to employment, digital, health and money support to its tenants via the GATE. The GATE is a community resource centre at the side of the housing office in the heart of Belle Isle. Staff from BITMO’s GATE support the community to access online health services using equipment in centre or at home via their tablet lending scheme. Focusing on the development of digital inclusion support for their Retirement Life Residents, BITMO have partnered with Belle Isle Senior Action on the delivery of the project and have received funding to expand connectivity into Retirement Life community spaces, purchase tablets for use in the centres and as part of their tablet lending scheme, and staff capacity for project delivery. They are engaging their older members by embedding digital support within social activity such as bingo and coffee mornings and have trained their wardens to champion digital as part of their community outreach role.
Holbeck together were established as a Neighbourhood Network Scheme in 1992 to support older people living in Holbeck. Drawing on these experiences and expertise, they now welcome people from all generations. They provide a variety of services, activities and opportunities for people to get involved locally. Many activities are specifically for people in later years of living, others for younger people and some for all ages. They can support with any digital queries on a one to one basis via appointment or drop in and have a device lending scheme with data included. They received funding to invest in improving the connectivity of their community space, and to add a dedicated Digital Inclusion Officer role to their organisational structure.
MHA Communities South Leeds
MHA Communities South Leeds support older people to stay living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, with the best possible quality of life. Through befriending, lunch clubs, assisted shopping, activity and friendship sessions, outings, and escorts to appointments MHA help to tackle loneliness and isolation in people over 55 – helping them to lead fulfilled lives and remain as active members in their local communities. MHA Communities South Leeds are working to embed digital inclusion support across all elements of their service offering a person-centred approach to supporting the development of their members’ digital skills and confidence. They are training all staff to be Digital Champions and are opening up access to digital equipment through their tablet lending scheme. They received funding to support the development of the Digital Health Hub.
Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library
Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library has free-to-use PCs, free Wi-Fi, and friendly staff to give the community a helping hand. They can help people look for information, download apps, and use their devices to better manage their health. They offer digital learning sessions and one to one support for anyone in the community. After piloting the development of their Digital Health Hub approach at Dewsbury Road Community Hub and Library, Leeds Libraries plan to roll out the approach at Libraries across the city.
Next steps: expanding the Digital Health Hub approach across the city
After developing the place-based approach to digital inclusion to improve health participation working with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership, 100% Digital Leeds are now working with York Road Local Care Partnership to test the model. This will see the development of Digital Health Hubs across East Leeds over the next 6 months, after which the intention is to roll-out the model with LCPs across the city. Having been approached by organisations wishing to become Digital Health Hubs based outside of the place-based support areas 100% Digital Leeds plan to bring together organisations with Digital Health Hub offers, or looking to develop offers, as one city-wide network to further share resources, learning, and best practice.
If you would like to know more about Digital Health Hubs or how 100% Digital Leeds can support your organisation to develop and implement the Digital Health Hub approach contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com