Charities receive £1.1m funding to combat digital exclusion among Covid-19 patients

Charities in Northwest London have been handed £1.1m in funding by NHS Charities Together to tackle digital exclusion among patients affected by Covid-19.

The money will be used to ensure they have access to health, care and community resources.

It has been handed out after the pandemic “exposed the need to improve digital inclusion in the UK, particularly among society’s most vulnerable people”.

The lead applicant is the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust charity CW+.

Other charities involved include Open Age and Age UK, which will work with older people as part of the initiative.

The funding will also help promote digital skills for patients in Ealing through ‘digital consultations’ using apps and technology.

In addition, there will be a live webinar channel offering patients online sessions on exercise, mindfulness and gardening for health.

“We know Covid-19 has disproportionately affected some of society’s most vulnerable people, and digital exclusion has been a factor in that process,” said NHS Charities Together chief executive Ellie Orton.

“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 funding announcement follows NHS Charities Together this week unveiling its plans for the future following its record-breaking fundraising amid the pandemic.

This includes tackling long term conditions, be a bridge between charities and the NHS and supporting NHS workers.

Last month it emerged that charities’ efforts to tackle loneliness amid the pandemic were hampered by digital exclusion.

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