Accessing healthcare digitally: insights from communities in Westminster and Kensington & ChelseaDownload (PDF 2.38MB)
Summary of report content
Before the pandemic, the NHS began initiating an ongoing ‘digital first’ strategy. Restrictions on movement and physical interaction over the last two years accelerated this move towards more digital health services. Healthwatch Central West London wanted to find out how this has impacted people, by engaging a range of organisations and groups from across communities in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster.
Healthwatch Central West London conducted focus groups, surveys, and interviews with local people, to hear about their experiences of using digital healthcare tools and technology during the pandemic. Questions were devised building upon previous work carried out by the Healthwatch on the impact of COVID-19 and digital health. In total, 8 focus groups and 3 interviews held between February and May 2021.
The researched revealed 3 key themes. 1) A clear majority of respondents do not want digital health tools to replace other modes of healthcare. 2) Respondents who do not speak English, or have English as an additional language, consistently reported serious issues with the visibility and availability of functioning translation services. 3) A majority of respondents have concerns about security and privacy when using digital health tools.
The report suggests 7 key recommendations.