Digital Inclusion in Health and Care in Wales

The potential for digital inclusion to improve the health and well-being of older people and people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity in Wales.

The Wales Co-operative Centre has been at the forefront of digital inclusion work in Wales since 2006, when it delivered the Welsh Government’s first digital inclusion programme. Since then the Centre has delivered support, training and consultancy to organisations across Wales to enable them to embed digital inclusion into their service

The Centre now seeks to utilise the evidence base that has evolved from its 12 years’ experience of delivering digital inclusion programmes across Wales to inform planning and policy discussion at a wider, more strategic level.  The Carnegie UK Trust and the Wales Co-operative Centre identify digital as one of the major public policy issues that require focus and attention. The challenge ahead is how to maximise the benefits of digital, while mitigating the risks.

Over the past year, the two organisations have worked together on a highly significant aspect of the digital agenda – its application in health and care – where the focus on maximising benefit while minimising risk is particularly urgent. The provision of health and care services has already seen important gains achieved through the deployment of
digital technology – with many more to come. But service providers face a dilemma. Many citizens with the greatest need for health and care provision are also those with the lowest level of digital skills. This limits the gains that can be made for providers in improving service efficiency and reduces the benefits of speed, time, convenience and agency that could be realised by citizens.

We are therefore delighted to support this important and comprehensive independent report by Bob Gann, a leading expert in the field, which sets a clear roadmap for how digital inclusion can improve the health and well-being of many people in Wales. We hope that the robust evidence base set out in the study, and the practical
recommendations it identifies, can support action to advance this vital agenda.

The report is intended to:
• Place digital inclusion within the specific context of health and social care in Wales.
• Give an overview of current relevant activity across Wales, highlighting examples of good practice.
• Highlight any examples of excellent practice in other jurisdictions that can be learned from.
• Highlight areas of need on which to focus future effort and activity, with recommendations as to how to approach this.
• Identify potential cost savings and improved value to encourage service providers to take up digital inclusion activity.
• Begin to support local Health Boards and other stakeholders to work co-operatively and learn from each other in this important area.

View the full report here – Digital-Inclusion-in-Health-and-Care-in-Wales