Charity № 1072595 Company № 3576786 0116 255 2071

Reaching People

Commitment to lasting change

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Health+ Project

Reaching People manages the Health+ Project. This project has been supported by NHS Charities Together through your local NHS Charities, Leicester Hospitals Charity and Raising Health (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust). There are a number of different strands to the Health+ Project each one relates back to the overall aims (see image). Much of our work has involved setting up Health+ digital surgeries for over 50s in GP practices across LLR. Reaching People provide volunteer digital companions to support patients with their digital skills especially around digital health.

Digital companions are trained in the NHS app, GP apps, online security, health literacy, safeguarding and evaluation. Each patient receives about 50 minutes of one to one digital from a digital companion and we evaluate every interaction to ensure we are making a difference. Patients can return for repeat visits. Here are the main aims and benefits:

  • Aiming to support older patients at 25 surgeries in Leicester Leicestershire and Rutland.
  • To increase the number of older people utilising digital apps for ordering prescriptions, appointments and getting NHS information and advice.

Additional benefits include:

  • Helping to reduce telephone calls to surgeries.
  • Helping older people find health information online.
  • Improving the digital skills confidence of older people.

“The volunteers have been amazing we have had good feedback about the volunteers”
— (feedback from staff member at Saffron Health GP Practice)

Digital Companion helping patient with his device at a GP surgery

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of people accessing services online, one benefit of online groups is that with the right support and access to equipment people can access sessions from the comfort of their own home. This is especially needed where health conditions prevent travel or services are out of reach of services users. Therefore, this project is supporting Primary Care/Secondary Care and Health and Wellbeing Sessions to set up Zoom groups so that they can be accessed by over 50s across LLR. We are working with groups who have a focus on key clinical areas of health inequality these include Mental illness, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Early Cancer Diagnosis, Hypertension.

It is a priority of ours to commit to training all Health+ volunteers in health literacy. Health literacy covers the personal characteristics and social resources needed for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health. The volunteers can train the people they support in a health literature way. Improving people’s digital literacy can also lead to improvements in health literacy.

There are a multitude of benefits to working in partnership with digital inclusion projects, this includes knowledge sharing, resource sharing and networking. The mapping and partnering with digital inclusion projects across LLR is already proving beneficial. We have partnered with Enrych – Helping adults with disabilities  and VASLs to deliver digital surgeries together. Furthermore, Reaching People can share knowledge of these projects with the patients and Zoom session attendees so that they can receive additional and ongoing digital support outside of what we have to offer.

Reaching People are supporting Integrated health neighbourhood networks. One of the Aims of Health+ is to investigate the local VCS offer for Social Prescribers, Local Area Connectors, Health & Wellbeing Coaches, Care Navigators. We want to find out what gaps exist and what is working well? We will share the survey with these groups and once we have evaluated the data, we will share results with the VCS community.

For Further details email
To speak to the project manager please contact
Friday Chidlow
Health+ project manager
Mobile Number: 07955 070513
Website: Reaching People | Commitment to lasting change
Hours of work: Mon – Wed 8.30 am – 4.30pm