Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS FT’s (CWHFT) charity CW+ and North West London’s ICS/STP, have been awarded £1,176,207 from NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) to support shielding and vulnerable people affected by Covid-19, by providing digital access to health, care and community resources.
CW+ is also the lead charity for the North West London NHSCT application.
Covid-19 has highlighted the need for digital inclusion in the UK to improve, particularly among vulnerable groups.
CW+ will use the funds from NHSCT 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 encourages an active life for older people - and its partners, including Age UK 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 partners on 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 webinar 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, Interim Chief Executive Officer of North West London ICS/STP, and CWHFT, 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 well-being 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 of scaling the programme on a wider level in the future.