The Approach to Information Technology and Online Services for Health & Care by Older Manchester ResidentsDownload (PDF 1.13MB)
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.