With more than 100 million visits a year, NHS Choices is empowering and supporting people to better access health info and manage their healthcare online.
Saving the NHS an estimated £44m a year, if more people managed their health online, this could jump to between £2bn and £5bn.
Through regularly featuring web-banners on its homepage and in stories in its newsletters (which go out to 130,000 people every month!), NHS Choices has been promoting the health benefits of being online and asking Choices users to become digital champions. Employees have also been encouraged to become digital champions and to take part in a series of staff volunteer programmes to get older people online.
During Digital Unite’s Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Week in May, NHS Choices took over the Living Space community learning centre on Waterloo Road, London and provided tea, cake and a slice of advice to 20 internet beginners, showing them how to email and find health information online, as well as providing sign-posting to low cost, local internet courses. Edna, 64, really enjoyed the day saying, “I am so glad that my granddaughter showed me the NHS Choices website. I have diabetes and before I really didn’t know anything about it. I have learnt so much now from being able to look things up on the internet”. NHS Choices also frequently provides support to libraries and UK online centres. For this year’s New Years’ and Get Ready for Summer Campaigns, posters and postcards were distributed locally, providing info on getting fit and losing weight and included sign-posting to local UK online centres.
This autumn, NHS Choices will be supporting Go ON Give an Hour, asking people to help someone complete a free online health MOT. Long term, it aims to break the cycle of poor health and IT literacy in excluded communities; for the most disadvantaged people and communities, this will allow families to pass on their learning and reduce health inequalities for future generations, leading to reduced costs to the public health system.
NHS Choices has engaged with the following Manifesto recommendations:
1. Leaders at every level of industry, government and the charitable sector to should embed manifesto challenges into corporate plans and make race online 2012 pledges by the end of 2010
2. Industry and media partners should develop specific strategies to communicate the positive benefits of the internet to the 10 million potential new online customers
4. Government should expect people to use some key online public services and signpost those that need help to local web access and training points
7. People must know where they can find local web access and/or training points and where they can go to get assistance with any online only public services, supported by local digital champions in every community
- Please hare your Promise in Action with us here