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Digital & Social Inclusion

The Digital and Social Inclusion Project is supporting our communities to ensure that no-one is left behind, and that the benefits of the internet and digital technologies are available to everyone accessing health and care services across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. 

Statistics show that an estimated 7.8% of UK adults have either never used the internet, or last used it over 3 months ago. That’s 4.2 million people (Office for National Statistics, 2020). Furthermore, an alarming 21% of UK adults, or 11 million people, do not have the essential digital skills needed for day-to-day life.

Digital & Social Inclusion Projects

In a world where technology has increasingly become the default method for accessing everything from information and public services, to entertainment and communication, the Digital and Social Inclusion workstream is closing the gap by reducing health inequalities and ensuring socio-economic factors do not disadvantage access to digital services in our region.

By offering the digital skills, confidence and motivation to access digital technology, the Digital Inclusion workstream provides an important lifeline for people that are otherwise excluded from using digital technology. Our projects support local communities to get online and become more confident using the digital tools that can support their health and care needs – and as a result, improve access to a wider range of local public health services.

Community and voluntary sector collaboration (CVS)

Our Community and Voluntary Sector Collaboration scheme offers grants to local community groups or community and voluntary service organisations to embed digital skills support into their work. The scheme offers £5000 for local organisations and groups across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to trial and test delivery models for a minimum of 6 months, these can be unique and responsive to their local residents needs, wants and interests. The scheme focuses on reaching out to the most vulnerable and excluded people across our region to help them gain the skills, confidence, motivation and connectivity to do more with digital, whilst also helping people to improve their health, care and wellbeing through targeted, person-centred support.

After previously hosting our own digital skills sessions, we recognised that the best people to help those who are digitally excluded, are those who are embedded within local communities and already supporting people in other aspects of their daily lives. People need trusted, familiar faces who offer the right support at the right time. 

This scheme is important because it’s a localised collaboration approach which focuses on building relationships across health and care providers and third sector organisations. 
Through partnership working with organisations and communities, we’re able to increase the provision of digital access, skills, and support available locally.

Each CVS/ group that is provided with a grant is required to meet a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) as follows:

  • Support 25-50 local residents to get online and improve their skills and confidence using digital
  • Deliver 15 digital skill sessions to support people in improving their Digital skills and confidence
  • Recruit 3 people to become digital champions within their local communities
  • Produce 1 case study demonstrating how a delivery model/ intervention has supported someone.

6 CVS organisations have joined the scheme to date and together, we have:

  • Supported 300 local residents to get online and improve their skills and confidence using digital
  • Delivered 90 digital skill sessions to support people in improving their digital skills and confidence
  • Recruited 93 people to become digital champions within their local communities
  • Produced 5 case studies showcasing how a delivery model/ intervention has supported someone.

If your group or organisation can help us to improve the digital divide in your area, visit our CVS Collaboration Page and complete the application form.


Workforce digital skills development

Where health and care staff don’t have the right knowledge and confidence to use digital health resources themselves, they are unlikely to champion the benefits of using digital health to their patients and citizens. Our workforce digital development package offers several free training courses for all health and care staff across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, giving people the opportunity to gain qualifications in digital skills and IT. This includes:

    • ECDL Extra: this builds on a learner’s basic knowledge and experience to improve their understanding of computer applications including improving productivity using IT, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. Individuals can learn at their own pace with this flexible online course. This training is a recognised IT qualification in many workplaces.
    • Principles of customer service: this qualification provides people with the underpinning knowledge required to work in a range of customer service roles. Staff can expect to develop essential knowledge of how to carry out customer service related tasks, such as how to manage data and information.

Further plans are in place to roll out a digital health literacy course, and we are also expanding the course available through DBC training providers. 

Digital Champions Network

The Digital champions network is a team of health and care staff that are passionate about championing digital services. These individuals have been trained up to develop their digital skills and understand the benefits of getting online in order to help others. The training part of this scheme comes within the digital development package however, we class it as an individual scheme. 

Staff and volunteers across health, care and community organisations throughout Nottingham and Nottingham can learn how to:

  • inspire people in your community to use the internet
  • promote digital tools and services to patients and colleagues 
  • help people to use tools and services like the NHS App 
  • promote lifelong learning 

Are you passionate about helping others and want to develop your own skills to better support local people? Why not register to become a Digital Champion? Find out more about what this means, and the courses on offer here.

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Digital support pop-up hub

Our Digital Support Pop-up Hubs offer free training and support in a community space where people can learn how to download and register for the NHS App. They tend to be a roadshow of support sessions aimed at targeting communities with support on all things digital. Having previously run sessions in town markets, jobcentres and healthcare settings. 

We’ll be working with GP Practices across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to host Pop-Up Digital Support Hubs. Providing essential assistance with NHS App and Patients Know Best registration, elevating some of the pressures practices might be experiencing in light of the greater interest in online digital services.

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