NHS England has picked up the top award at the Digital Leaders 100 Awards 2015, which celebrated innovation and leadership in the digital world.
The award for best health and social care product or service went to the Widening Digital Participation programme for their work, along with partners the Tinder Foundation, on improving the digital skills of vulnerable people.
The Widening Digital Participation programme was established in 2013 and aims to reduce health inequalities among older people, disabled people and those on low incomes by supporting citizens to build confidence in using IT to find healthcare information online.
Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, said: “The information revolution has the potential to transform the NHS, but we need to ensure that nobody is left behind. Our work with the Tinder Foundation on increasing access to online health services is central to achieving our vision of a digitally enhanced healthcare system that is fully inclusive.”
The Tinder Foundation has engaged more than 220,000 people through the programme, providing training to over 140,000 people on how to use health information online. This was to be done through a Digital Health Information Network of 400 centres engaging these hard-to-reach groups, alongside development of specialist online learning content through a digital health portal on the Learn My Way website. Eight pathfinder centres are targeting specialist groups who face the biggest barriers to digital inclusion and good health, ensuring that those who are digitally excluded and may be most in need of NHS services aren’t left behind
The Widening Digital Participation programme is taking forward the National Information Board strategy ‘Personalised Health and Care 2020’ and aims to have 150,000 citizens trained in digital skills thereby enabling more people to take control of their health and care. This includes the ability to access their own health record online.
Helen Milner, Chief Executive of Tinder Foundation, said: ‘We’re delighted that our work with NHS England for the Widening Digital Participation programme has been recognised by the DL100 awards. The programme has not only had huge reach – with over 140,000 people trained to improve both their digital, and their digital health literacy skills – it’s also had a huge impact on an individual level, helping people to stay healthy, better understand their conditions and so feel more confident and empowered.”