In this qualitative research project, Healthwatch England wanted to speak to groups traditionally more likely to experience digital exclusion to understand why and how this can impact their healthcare experiences, especially during the pandemic. These groups included older people, people with disabilities, and people with limited English.

By Healthwatch England
General Reports

The report gathered evidence from 86 patients and 26 members of staff. More than a quarter of the patients were people from a minority ethnic background.

The report recommends five principles for post-Covid digital healthcare that should be considered by GP practices, PCN’s and commissioners to better support patients. 

  1. Maintain traditional models of care alongside remote methods and support patients to choose the most appropriate appointment type to meet their needs
  2. Invest in support programmes to give as many people as possible the skills to access remote care
  3. Clarify patients’ rights regarding remote care, ensuring people with support or access needs are not disadvantaged when accessing care remotely
  4. Enable practices to be proactive about inclusion by recording people’s support needs
  5. Commit to digital inclusion by treating the internet as a universal right

Locked Out : Digital excluded people’s experiences of remote GP appointments Download File (pdf 788.75 KB)

You must go through ‘Ask My GP’. My dad would want a face to face; but there was no offer of that. I rang the surgery (for my dad) but no appointments as two doctors were off self-isolating. They said use the online link. They didn’t ask if my dad had a computer/a smart phone. My dad is panic stricken about using this app.”

Related Reports

Digital Exclusion report

Engaging Communities Solutions CIC deliver a number of Healthwatch contracts across the Midlands and Cheshire, including Healthwatch Halton.

This report looks at the experiences of people, from across eight local Healthwatch, including Halton, who were more likely to be digitally excluded than the general population in accessing primary care during the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions.

General Reports
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