Connected Nottinghamshire launches new digital health campaign for carers

Connected Nottinghamshire and a health innovation company called Healthwave have partnered to launch a new digital health campaign in the county.

The aim of the #DigitalCarers campaign is to help people ‘access and utilise digital channels to support their healthcare needs’ and, ultimately, to empower digital carers.

Connected Nottinghamshire, a programme set up by the Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2013, focuses on creating and developing a local digital roadmap for the East Midlands county. It invests in new technologies and systems to improve the delivery of healthcare in the area, and encourages projects that share data across health and social care.

This latest step follows a recent study by Healthwave, which found that up to one-third of people in Nottinghamshire ‘now have digital caring responsibilities for an older person, especially people who are in midlife’ – with some helping ‘multiple times a day’ and nearly 29 per cent helping ‘several times a week’.

The research also revealed that 44 per cent of digital carers ‘feel they could benefit from help and training on all things digital to make them better at this new type of caring’, while 77 per cent also said they ‘felt that increasing the digital skills for them and the person they care for could lead to more independence and an improved lifestyle for both’.

The campaign, which will be will be promoted across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, signposts people who need support to a dedicated online ‘Healthwavehub’ page, which will ‘connect users to local services, resources, networks and advice on using the NHS App more effectively’.

Users can also become part of a ‘community of digital carers’ on Facebook, where they can find ‘peer-to-peer advice, help, tips, and information from experts’.

Alexis Farrow, Head of Strategy and Transformation at Connected Nottinghamshire, says: “One of our key aims is to support the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire to feel able to access digital health services, and to mitigate digital exclusion. This exciting campaign brings together some brilliant resources and will empower Digital Carers who can then help friends, family and their community to use technology better to support their health independently.”

Oliver Sleeman, Director and Co-Founder of Healthwave, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Connected Nottinghamshire to help people in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire learn 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 are providing, we hope to support and mobilise digital carers.”

It’s also hoped that promotion on social media will encourage people to engage with the available resources and become part of the Digital Carers community. To find our more about #DigitalCarers and the online tools, click here.

Last year, HTN also hosted a live webcast from the team at Connected Nottinghamshire, in which they discussed their Public-Facing Digital Services programme – work focused on addressing the barriers and inequalities faced by the local population regarding access to digital services. Catch up on the video and written review of the presentation, here.