NHS Charities Together Awards CW+ >£1.1m to Improve Digital Inclusion for COVID-19 Vulnerable Patients in NW London

We are delighted to have been awarded over £1,100,000 from NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) to support shielding and vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 in North West London, by providing digital access to health, care and community resources.

COVID-19 has exposed the need to improve digital inclusion in the UK, particularly among society’s most vulnerable people. We will use the funds to support COVID-19 recovery activities, working with partners across the region to deliver the following digital inclusion and innovation projects:

  • Working with Open Age, a charity that champions an active life for older people, and its partners including AgeUK and local libraries, CW+ will produce personalised support plans for older patients, matching them with partner organisations that can help reduce barriers to digital access
  • In partnership with West London NHS Trust and its partner Powering Recovery, CW+ will engage with patients in Ealing to support digital consultations using equipment, apps and technology – helping to bridge the digital divide and increase the range of clinical interventions available for patients
  • Together with Hiyos Practice, CW+ will launch a live webinar channel offering patients two hours of live and pre-recorded interactive sessions on exercise, mindfulness, and gardening for health, as well as sessions addressing key factors in health inequalities, such as social isolation, education, social services, chronic illness, and employment.

Lesley Watts is interim Chief Executive Officer of North West London ICS/STP, and Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She said: “We are incredibly grateful to NHS Charities Together for their support and funding, and look forward to working in partnership with the national charity and the successful bidders on this programme.  We need to support the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our three new projects will help patients use digital health services and tools as well as provide them with connections to local charitable services.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “We know Covid-19 has disproportionately affected some of society’s most vulnerable people, and digital exclusion has been a factor in that process. That’s why we are delighted to fund these valuable initiatives through CW+, which we believe will have an important benefit for those living in Northwest London.  By reducing barriers to digital access and improving connection within communities, we hope they will make a much-needed difference.”

The digital inclusion programme will run over the next two years, with a view to scaling the programme on a wider level in the future.