We have courses supporting people to manage their health online, developed in conjunction with NHSE. Our health clients range from ICBs and GPs to disability charities and wellness groups. There’s an overlap between people who need to manage their health and those with poor digital skills, so the courses are used extensively by our general clients. 

Our courses don’t just help patients, they help employees too. Less than a third of people who work in health care have the full set of Essential Digital Skills for Work. Our courses can be used to upskill colleagues indirectly, as 96% of Champions say the courses help their own skills; or directly, with colleagues training to help other colleagues.

Health-specific training

We have a learning and training curriculum for health professionals and intermediaries based on the Digital Champions model, developed with NHSE. It’s accessible via the Digital Champions Network and contains seven CPD accredited courses specifically to help in health settings. The courses cover topics like understanding barriers to use; using NHS services online; helping users remotely and helping people who don't speak English as a first language. 

Once you’re a member of the Digital Champions Network, you can access our other courses. Many are helpful for helping patients more broadly, like how to support learners with dexterity issues or memory loss; or helpful for staff, like helping colleagues in customer facing roles encourage people to use digital.  Here's a full course list and the more about the Digital Champions Network in detail.

How it helps patients

peopleThe core courses help teach people to access online services like their medical records or the GP booking system; use online health apps like the NHS and find out information about/ support for specific conditions. 

These sound fairly straightforward but a phrase that comes up quite often in feedback is "life-changing". These are just a few things Champions have told us they've helped people do: 

  • Use the MyGp app to manage appointments
  • Put their emergency contacts on their phone
  • Attend online rehab sessions on Teams
  • Help someone with dementia: to set up regular reminders on their phone
  • Help someone with macular disease: to find accessibility solutions for life online
  • Help someone with autism: to manage their anxiety by checking in with GP services online
  • Apply for Blue Badges 
  • Sign up to RNIB online libraries
  • Join a diabetes support group

And for many patients, the skills and confidence they acquire can be used in all sorts of other areas - like keeping up with friends and family or finding out about other topics. 

How it helps organisations

We ran a two year pilot programme with NHSE, supporting 26 different programmes across the country.

Our impact reports show that the Digital Champions provide a scalable and sustainable way to grow the digital capability and confidence of patients. And for the organisations running the programmes it can:

  • Improve digital confidence and capacity for those delivering health and social care. 96% of our champions said they increased their own digital skills and 94% said they were better able to help others.
  • Reduce inappropriate demand, realise cost and time saving efficiencies for service deliverers and patients.
  • Complement wider digital strategies, and can be targeted to help specific needs. According to one Project Manager, "including Champions as part of our strategy has been very helpful. Champions help to extend reach, bring diverse perspectives and skills, grow our capacity for supporting people in our communities."

Find out more

Excellent report by the Kings Fund on inclusion in health care. It features two projects that use the Digital Champions Network - the Roxton Practice and the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People.

NHS Guide for digital inclusion in health and social care, for health care providers, commissioners and designers. 

The Impact Report for our original NHSE project showing what the programme could achieve. 

"It’s all the wrap around support for Champions that we don’t have the capacity to provide within our own organisation. So CPD training that you can access anytime, PDFs, guides and resources Champions can keep coming back to, specific help around working with specific groups of people like different ages/backgrounds."

Project Manager, Digital Health Champions

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