Digital Inclusion in Leeds: How does it feel for me? Autumn check in

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Leeds undertook follow up research to its July report on how people in Leeds are experiencing digital inclusion and exclusion. This briefing focusses in large part on the experiences of people facing the greatest health inequalities . Its insight comes from the new Communities of Interest network, which seeks to hear the voices of people facing multiple health inequalities.

The research identified five key themes. A lack of equipment and the funds to buy it was mentioned by every community Healthwatch spoke to, and in many cases was cited as the key barrier. While the work done by the third-sector and others has demonstrated how information and support can have a significant impact on people’s digital skills and confidence, a lack of knowledge and know-how remains an issue for people and organisations in Leeds.

Lockdown demonstrated the challenges of supporting adults and children whose home environments provide them with neither the safety nor privacy to access or disclose their needs to services. This, combined with a lack of money to get and stay online, has generated an appetite among multiple communities for public space to be equipped in such a way that it can be used to access the internet with an appropriate degree of privacy.

The switch to digital health and care often presents challenges for people with sensory and communication needs, particularly when they experience other risk factors such as limited support structures. Certain digital platforms can be more helpful than others, depending on an individual’s needs.

Even among the digitally enabled, the switch to remote health and care services can sometimes represent a profound – and at times worrying - change in their relationship with the organisations tasked with supporting them through their most vulnerable moments.

The report identified the actions that each community would need to become more digitally included. 

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General details

Report title 
Digital Inclusion in Leeds: How does it feel for me? Autumn check in
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Leeds
Date of publication 
Friday, 20 November, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local body
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
People in stigmatised occupations (such as sex workers)
People who live in poverty
Refugees or asylum seekers
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? 
Not known
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? 
Not known

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.