Good Things Foundation is the UK’s leading digital inclusion organisation, managing a network of 5,000 local places - the Online Centres Network - who provide people with the digital skills they need. Since 2013, Good Things Foundation has been running the Widening Digital Participation programme, funded by NHS England, which has trained over 130,000 people to improve their digital health skills. They also run the Learn My Way learning platform (www.learnmyway.com), which hosts over 30 free courses to help people to improve their digital skills, including courses on how to use NHS Choices, and how to access GP services online.

Through community-based digital support, Good Things Foundation and the Online Centres Network help patients with the greatest need - including the frail elderly and those with dementia - to understand and use technology as part of the management of their health and care; whilst also supporting professionals as new technology-based healthcare pathways are developed and tested. This will drive better patient outcomes and help clinicians and commissioners save time and money.

Older people, and people with long term health conditions, are amongst those who are least likely to have digital skills - and they are most likely to suffer from poor health outcomes. Providing people with digital skills and the skills to find health information online leads to a range of positive outcomes:

  • People feel more able to manage their own conditions
  • People can make healthier choices, including choosing a healthier diet and exercise
  • Help people to connect with others
  • Help people to access transactional services online, including booking GP appointments
  • People feel more confident and knowledgeable about their conditions.

Case studies of the support Good Things Foundation has provided to support people to improve their digital health literacy skills include:

Case Study 1: Pat

Pat, who is able to order prescriptions online to save herself from going out. Read more

Case Study 2: Betty

Betty, who has been able to learn more about her condition thanks to her new digital skills. Read more

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