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Wales announces £3m to improve access to health IT

Money is part of digital inclusion and health programme

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 07 November 2018

The Health Secretary in Wales has today announced £3 million funding to improve access to technology.

Speaking at the Digital Health and Care Conference in Cardiff, Vaughan Gething said the money would form part of a new three-year Digital Inclusion and Health programme which would help staff and patients engage with technology and support people to access and manage their medical information online.

“Having the skills and motivation to access digital health services can help people better manage their conditions, whilst helping to reduce the burden on under pressure NHS services,” he said.

He added: “The National Survey for Wales 2017-18 showed that 60% of people in Wales aged 75 and over and 26% of disabled people are digitally excluded. These people are also more likely to access health and social care services than the rest of the population. It is vital we improve their ability to access digital services.”

The Leader of the House with responsibility for digital, Julie James, said: “Improving digital literacy can have a significant impact on improving health outcomes for people by giving them more control to manage their own conditions and improve their wellbeing. Developing the basic digital skills of citizens in Wales is a priority for this government and we know those more likely to access health and social care services are often those least likely to engage with technology.

“Today’s announcement will see us go out to tender this Friday for a jointly funded £6 million three-year digital inclusion and health programme, to begin in July 2019. This funding recognises the importance of digital inclusion to delivering digital transformation in health.”

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