A few things we learned from our long-running project with NHSE using Digital Champions to help people manage their health...

We started this project in lockdown. We worked with NHSE to create courses, resources and support structures for a Champions model helping people manage their health online. Our clients ranged from ICBs and GPs to church groups and wellness organisations.

In figures....

  • 7 new courses (CPD Accredited)young man helps older man with a computer
  • 26 different projects
  • 369 Digital Champions completed....
  • 2629 courses helping...
  • 5,585 patient learners (though we suspect the real figure is about 10-20% higher)

We learnt a lot! You can read the detail in this impact report we created for the organisations involved. Some of the practical things we learnt include that:

  • The biggest challenge is recruiting Champions.
  • Drop-ins work best to get programmes going.
  • Allowing time to plan is the most crucial element for success.
  • But that projects are most like to get held-up by being over-ambitious – sometimes you just got to start small.
  • Beneficiaries tend to have complex needs, with more than one barrier to entry.
  • Although end goal is health-related, often starting with something else can really help: like video calls with friends before working video calls with doctors; like fixing the basic settings on their phones before using the NHS App. 

We’re in the process of putting together some written guidelines for specific settings. Here's some general info for what we provide for Champions in health settings

PS: We don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but “Digital Unite’s professionalism, enthusiasm and creativity have been key to making this project the success it is!” according to Lynn Smith from NHS England.

How can a Digital Champion approach help your organisation?

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