Developing a community-based approach to digital inclusion to enable digital health participation
100% Digital Leeds worked with Beeston and Middleton Local Care Partnership (LCP) to develop and test a community-based model for enabling inclusion to digitised health and care services. The project was initiated in response to the Healthwatch Leeds Digitising Leeds series of reports. Digital Health Hubs sit at the heart of this model. The work in Beeston and Middleton led to the launch of an initial 5 Digital Health Hubs in the LCP footprint and there are now a total of 16 Digital Health Hubs delivering in the area. This development work with Beeston and Middleton LCP, later refined with York Road LCP, has informed the development of the model which will be implemented across the city in an ambitious 24 months plan launching in October 22.
Impact and outcomes in Beeston and Middleton
- 16 community venues supported to become Digital Health Hubs, delivering digital inclusion support to people locally.
- 5 key community organisations funded a total of £50,000 to implement the Digital Health Hub model within their services.
- 276 staff and volunteers working across organisations and services in the Local Care Partnership footprint, across community organisations and health services, have attended digital inclusion awareness workshops.
- £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.
- 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 identified as Digital Champions have taken part in digital inclusion awareness workshops and will cascade 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.
The foundation principles of the approach
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 to increate 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.
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.
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.
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.