Digital Access

People have digital access to information, their own data, and services which support their health and wellbeing, wherever they are.

James's story

My dad has several medical conditions and I know it’s important to him to keep in contact with his friends and to stay in his own home as long as he’s ableIt’s really reassuring to know that we can update his details or get in touch with the people we need to consult, quickly and easily without having to organise ourselves around the system or work around appointments that aren’t convenient.” 

James is an unpaid carer supporting his elderly father, Billy, who has Dementia and Type 2 Diabetes.  He works part-time and helps his dad by organising his medication, appointments, and care at home support.  Billy is supported at home and has regular appointments at the nearby health centre.  Billy enjoys interacting with his friends at the community garden in town and has always been a keen gardener.  Gardening brings Billy a great deal of happiness, as well as social interaction with friends.   

Sometimes Billy’s long-term condition means he forgets his routine and can become confused.  On one occasion, Billy left the house and walked towards town, but thankfully he was quickly found near the local supermarket thanks to the Purple Alert service that James had signed up for.  James and Billy also benefit from the support provided through the ADAM project, which helps people living with long term health conditions, including dementia, to find the right technology to support them to live well at home and within their local communities. 

James realises Billy will likely need additional support as his condition progresses and is able to interact with local health, social care and housing services on Billy’s behalf so that he understands the options available and can make sure both he and his dad get the support they need.  Thanks to the support of a local project working within the Digital Inclusion Programme, James was supported to develop his digital skills and confidence and now feels comfortable using technology and digital devices.  He also welcomes the general advice, resources, and access to services provided through NHS inform and the NHS24 online app. 

In the future, as Billy’s principal carer, James will be able to update Billy’s preferences, medications, and required changes to his care package using the Digital Front Door app which enables him to engage easily with the NHS, care providers, charities and the local services that support him and his dad to stay well.  Using the Digital Front Door will enable James to rearrange appointments online quickly and easily at a time that works for Billy and James, ensuring that Billy gets the support he needs, which can be changed as and when required in the future.  James will also be able to view Billy’s health and care details and connect easily with a range of services to update details or arrange calls and support for times and dates that are more convenient.  James and Billy can already interact with social work, social care, and the GP using the Near Me service. 

Access to Billy’s integrated care record will also allow the health and social care professionals who support Billy to understand his needs and preferences, and make sure that Billy gets the support that matters to him – across the range of support services. 

James has his own needs that he can sometimes overlook, given the pressures of his own job and the responsibility of caring for his dad.  He was diagnosed with a mental health issue a year ago and was offered digital mental health therapy through referral from his GP.  James has monthly online therapy sessions with a counsellor and has access to digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course that he completes in the evenings, when it is most convenient for him – or whenever he feels the need to do so. 

Implementing new digital approaches across health social care support people to live in a place of their choice, taking a person-centred approach to promoting wellbeing and independence, and delivering services differently at home, in the community, and out of hospital settings.​