This project was inspired by the Citizen’ Online map measuring the amount of older people using online GP services. Lewisham Homes were looking to fund projects that were assisting with the transition out of the 2020 lockdown, YT felt that it was suitable and appropriate to offer digital support amidst the public health crisis.
Originally the project had quite a wide remit to assist with a range of issues of online activity (employability and general access) which caused confusion and subsequently was not offered the funding. Nonetheless, Community Waves (SE London based health charity) stepped in as it was being dissolved.
The project gave me some great opportunities: liaising with the supportive and affable Michael Stuart at Community Connections, realising how the NHS approaches online platforms/apps, and assisting with a NHS Innovation project. It was fantastic that the service could add to the work with the Irish in Lewisham pensioner’s group.
Especially noticeable was the ‘shopping list’ of multiple apps and websites – one problem surfaced with a gentleman being supported that had (with remote support) become accustomed to using the Patient Access website to make appointments only to find that the practice had moved to another service (Evergreen) which is app based. Sure there is a website, but if offers only an account set up, no facility to create an appointment or manage repeat prescriptions (at the time of writing). The gentleman had no smartphone or tablet to install the app; YT had to write to the practice stating the issues arising. Then it seemed that the practice could use Patient Access again after resolving their technical difficulties.