Report calls for ‘digital health hubs’ to tackle health inequalities in England

Posted: November 23rd 2020


We know the people in Nailsea featured in this article. More of their dynamism would enable us all to get to grips with this issue. This story tells us:

An NHS-commissioned report into digital inclusion in health and care calls for ‘digital health hubs’ to prevent exclusion from further widening health inequalities.

The charity, Good Things Foundation, carried out the review into the NHS Widening Digital Participation programme, which took place between 2017 and 2020, in partnership with NHSX, NHS Digital and NHS England.

According to the report, digital inclusion should be embedded in local health and wellbeing strategies, with the public involved in co-designing digital health services. This should include solutions for those who have low digital skills and face barriers to health care.

Digital health hubs aim to use community engagement to reach poorly-served groups and support access to digitally-enabled health care and wider wellbeing. They could be based in libraries, GP surgeries or other community spaces.

A prototype created in Nailsea, Somerset, was run by volunteers and helped people build digital confidence, signposted to local health activities, and motivated healthy behaviour change.

The report says that digital access has become a social determinant of health. Being able to afford internet access and having access to digital skills to use the internet safely are now essential to wider determinants of health.