Partnership team helping people access digital healthcare wins award
14 December 2023
The service has won the Partnership and Working Together category in this year's Powys Teaching Health Board's Staff Excellence awards. The Living Well Service supports people who are experiencing the effects of long-term conditions, whether that be persistent pain, chronic fatigue or weight management issues. The award recognises work across partners to help ensure that nobody is excluded from digital health services.
The teams have been working together for two years, establishing a way for health board staff to refer people in need of access to digital connectivity directly to the library service. This simple process enables people to get access to support at a time and in a place that is most convenient for them.
The Living Well Digital Facilitators focus on helping people to build confidence to connect to online virtual appointments and develop basic digital skills to enable people to get the most from their health appointments. The library service provides easy access and support to iPad devices with data connections and Accessibility Powys visit people in their own homes where most appropriate to help them get connected.
The scheme has so far helped over 80 people to access virtual appointments that they would otherwise have been unable to attend - from 1-1 assessments through to longer clinical programmes. Clinicians work with patients to refer them to the scheme, ensuring the devices are issued without stigma or reference to their medical needs.
Vice Chair of Powys Teaching Health Board and Chair of Powys Regional Partnership Board Kirsty Williams said: "Powys Living Well Service have been recognised for truly breaking down barriers across organisations to make life easier for service users. The distances we need to travel in Powys can be challenging especially for those people who can't move around the county easily or don't have access to digital connectivity.
"The services have all worked together to do an amazing job to help overcome this isolation and challenge. They've done it by building digital confidence, helping people take the steps they want and need to live a more fulfilled life."
Whilst support is available directly through each of the three organisations, the partnership has made accessing support as simple as possible for service users, enabling the active offer of support with the technology alongside arranging clinical appointments.
All support provided is free to access and is available to anyone engaging with the health board, regardless of their health condition or income.
Information about accessing digital support for healthcare appointments can normally be found in your appointment letter or information pack sent out to you. Information can also be found on the PTHB website at https://pthb.nhs.wales.
Information about Powys libraries, including the range of digital resources that they offer can be found via the Stori Powys website at https://www.storipowys.org.uk or by calling in to your local library. If you would like to borrow an iPad from Powys Library Service without a referral, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.