New support for ‘digital carers’ in Walsall

Black Country and West Birmingham CCG has launched a new initiative to provide additional support for carers to make use of digital health tools.

Working with digital transformation company, Healthwave, who specialise in supporting the uptake of digital tools and inclusion with services, the programme has been developed to support carers of elderly or vulnerable people. It includes help with requesting a prescription, viewing a COVID passport, and learning about the NHS App.

According to a recent study by the company, it highlights that up to a third of people now have digital caring responsibilities for an older person, with some helping multiple times a day. The study also notes more than 44 per cent of participants said they would benefit from support and digital training, with 77 per cent feeling improving digital skills could lead to more independence.

Through its #DigitalCarers campaign, the programme provides an online “HealthwaveHub” page, which provides access to local services, resources, networks and advice on using the NHS App. The team has also launched a facebook community of digital carers, to support peer to peer advice, and tips and information from experts.

Mike Hastings, Digital Lead for the Black Country and West Birmingham Integrated Care System, said: “Thanks to ongoing digital transformation in the NHS, people now have the ability to engage with local health services at the touch of a button or the tap of a screen. However, as more services move online, it’s vital that those who are less confident about using technology do not become disadvantaged.

“Digital carers play an incredibly important role in helping others to access digital NHS services, but giving this kind of support to a loved one can be daunting if you’re not too sure yourself about what services are on offer and how to access them.

“That’s why we’re working with Healthwave to make this extra support available, and we really hope that people who feel they are struggling to do things like use the NHS App or other digital channels will take advantage of it.”

Oliver Sleeman, Director and Cofounder of Healthwave, added: “We are delighted to be working with Black Country and West Birmingham CCG to help people in Walsall learn more about, download and use the NHS App and get the support they need to access digital health channels. With the free tools and resources we will be providing we hope to mitigate digital exclusion and support and mobilise digital carers.”

The #DigitalCarers tools and resources can be found here: