UK Digital Poverty Evidence Review published

A major report by the Digital Poverty Alliance highlights the scale of digital poverty in the UK and its impact on health.

It says around 11 million people in the UK lack the digital skills needed for everyday life.

The review is organised around five determinants of digital poverty – devices and connectivity, access, capability, motivation, and support and participation. 

The determinant framework draws on the rainbow model of health inequality and recognises digital poverty is the result of multiple, compounding and intersectional forms of inequality.

Based on the evidence, the Digital Poverty Alliance has developed five key principles for ending digital poverty.

This includes that accessing key public services online, including healthcare, must be simple, safe and meet all people’s needs.

Digital Poverty Alliance

Study: Contexts and outcomes of proxy online health seeking

A new review seeks to explore the context and outcomes of proxy online health information seeking.

It says little is known about the use and outcomes of seeking online health information on someone else’s behalf.

Authors found information seeking was triggered for different reasons in different studies, including:

  • Being asked to search by someone who wanted to confirm information they found themselves
  • Being asked to search by someone with a complex health condition
  • Not having enough information to support someone living with a health condition
  • As a coping mechanism to deal with emotions following the diagnosis of a loved one

Proxy information seekers used what they found to provide emotional and material support, for discussions with healthcare providers and to empower themselves as caregivers.

Authors concluded a better understanding of how people use information together can help information providers adapt to meet all users’ needs.


PIF members named as finalists in Digital Health Awards

PIF members are among the finalists in the 2022 Digital Health Awards, set to be celebrated tonight.

The awards celebrate the digital achievements of the leaders making the biggest contributions to UK healthcare IT. The PIF member finalists are:

  • Dr Michelle Webster, CCIO, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust – CCIO of the Year
  • Glenn Winteringham, chief digital officer, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust – CIO of the Year
  • Prof Louise Hicks, CNIO, Barts Health NHS Trust – CNIO of the Year
  • Navina Evans, CEO, Health Education England – Digital CEO of the Year
  • Sarah Hart, urology specialty doctor, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – Future Digital Leader of the Year

Digital Health

Understanding the difference co-production makes

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has published a new co-production resource.

Developing our understanding of the difference co-production makes includes the views of those who have been involved in co-production.

It also considers the evidence of what is understood about co-production in social care and what more could be done to better evidence the difference co-production makes.


Study: Involving older adults in the development of electronic healthcare tools

A new review brings together the current evidence of how older adults are involved in co-design approaches to developing electronic healthcare tools. 

Authors also aimed to identify how co-design approaches used mutual learning techniques to benefit older adult participants.

They found higher levels of participation may increase the user’s knowledge of technology, enhance learning and empower participants. 

Authors concluded, to ensure studies optimise participation and learning of older adults when developing tools, there is a need to place more emphasis on the approaches promoting mutual learning.

BMJ Open

Top tips to help with digital inclusion

Learning Disability England has published a list of top tips to ensure people with learning disabilities and autistic people can be digitally included.

The Valuing People Alliance worked to co-produce the tips. 

The work also looks at ways to reduce digital exclusion which has negative health inequalities impacts.

Learning Disability England

CoronaBee game to tackle misinformation

A game aims to help players build psychological resilience against COVID-19 misinformation.

The CoronaBee game exposes players to questions, assumptions and adequate answers about COVID-19.

It was highlighted in the World Health Organization’s Infodemic Bulletin.

Some studies have shown misinformation can be very ‘sticky’. This means once people have heard it, it is very difficult to undo its effect on cognition.

‘Prebunking’ is one way to tackle this:

  • Sharing a piece of misinformation or a manipulation technique with an audience
  • Flagging that it is misinformation or manipulation
  • Telling them why it is misinformation/manipulation
  • When they come across it in the future, they are less likely to believe it

Games have been proven to build digital literacy in players and make them more resilient to misinformation.​


What Protocol politics mean for health in Northern Ireland

This Nuffield Trust article outlines key talking points from a roundtable with leaders and health experts in Northern Ireland about how they are seeing the UK’s departure from the EU play out for health.

It says there are several serious issues that could lead to a further deterioration in relationships among stakeholders and government officials – with important consequences for health.

Nuffield Trust

Video: Long road to recovery for gypsy and traveller communities

A new short film explores the impact of Long Covid on Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller communities.

In the film, Romany Journalist Jake Bowers meets three men for whom the pandemic is far from over.

The film was produced for the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group and National Voices by Gypsy Media Company.


New young person’s toolkit on health inequalities

The Association for Young People's Health (AYPH) has published a new young person’s toolkit on health inequalities. 

The toolkit includes ideas, information and inspiration, including two animations highlighting some of the key messages. 

It is linked to a set of resources for teachers – that can also be used in youth settings – including guidance, lesson plans and resources.

All of the resources have been created following a research project funded by the NIHR School for Public Health Research.