The Public Experience: Digital Access to Health Services

Our latest briefing looks at the use of digital methods to accessing health services.
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Summary

We received 81 valid responses to our individual influencer survey. 66% of respondents said they used online services for health in some form, either via the NHS app and/or through their GP’s online service

This is the second Pulse Briefing published. And these briefings will complement our Pulse Reports when there is a specific topic that we think needs to be explored. 

Healthwatch North Yorkshire is working with other local Healthwatch across the Humber Coast and Vale region to further increase the uptake and awareness of the NHS app amongst communities.

Conclusions: 

  • Many praised digital methods for the ease of booking appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and seeing test results. 
  • Choice is key; digital access should be one of the available options, so it can be used where appropriate. Each option should have equal priority and responsiveness and at no time should there be a two tier system which works better for those who have digital access/can use digital methods.
  • With support and information, people are willing to try digital health services where it seems appropriate and can help them/fit with their lifestyle. This should be further investigated, working with potential service users to ensure equity of access to healthcare, particularly in rural areas. However, any developments must recognise that not everyone has or wants digital access and so other non-digital or supported-digital options should remain available to all. 
  • It is important that digital methods work well and are easy to use, are available for all who want to use them, users are involved in their design and they are accurate and up to date. 

Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey and contributed feedback. Your voices help inform and shape health and social care services in North Yorkshire. 

If you would like to participate in our future Pulse Briefings, please sign up for the individual influencer's network.  

For more information or to share your comments please get in touch via email or by calling 01423 788 128.

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