The Approach to Information Technology and Online Services for Health & Care by Older Manchester Residents

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Manchester conducted interviews of older people from a range of backgrounds and communities to investigate their experiences and approach in using online services to access health and care and toward online use in general.

The key findings in the report state that most older people in Manchester are not obliged to access health and care services online, and where they are doing, they report less difficulty than was envisaged. Local support is available through friends, family or carers. However, there is a need to reassure, educate and inform older people on an ongoing basis regarding access to healthcare services using Information Technology (IT) and address some of the limiting assumptions made around security and confidentiality. This support should be tailored to their needs according to issues such as gender identity and ethnicity.

The report recommended for readily accessible and signposted services; trained advocates to provide the support; raise awareness of wider benefits of IT and internet use along with provision of comprehensive guides tailored to specific needs; long-term investment in IT and online skills training for older people; address the barriers to internet and IT use; stakeholder engagement to ensure the effectiveness of the services addressing the diverse range of social, cultural and environmental factors experienced by older people; have reassurances in place, including face to face contact, that IT and online services are not the only option regarding access to services; investigate low uptake of IT and internet services which may lead to detriment of healthcare.

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General details

Report title 
The Approach to Information Technology and Online Services for Health & Care by Older Manchester Residents
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Manchester
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 April, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 December, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 1 December, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
65-85 years
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.