Summary of report content
This report is a summary of the learning form Healthwatch Islington and Diverse Communities Health Voice’s digital inclusion work, a series of small projects funded through local and national charitable trusts. This report covers work that has taken place over the past four years.
With the need to socially distance to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, many services had to offer support remotely (by phone or internet) with a reliance on websites and social media for sharing information.
In Healthwatch Islington’s September 2020 report “The Impact of Covid-19”, they spoke to 200 Islington residents about their experience of the pandemic so far.
Of 200 respondents 83 had not gone online to access services in the previous two months, 38 didn’t know how to, and 14 had no access to either internet or a device. One didn’t access because of a perceived language barrier, one because they were homeless with no recourse to public funds and one because they ‘don’t need to, Arachne provided me with clear information in Greek and I could ask questions to clarify my understanding , which is better than any online service’.
Healthwatch Islington believes that digital can be for anyone and that online services can help us to be more inclusive. However, as many residents face barriers to accessing services in this way service providers must make sure that there are a number of options available to residents. From an equalities perspective, services must be pro-active in offering and advertising reasonable adjustments.