Digital Pathfinder Champions - Joining forces to continually improve accessibility for people with hearing and/or sight loss.

Alison Braithwaite

31st October 2018

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We’ve now completed the Kirklees pathfinder project. In our last blog we talked about what the national pathfinder projects aimed to achieve, and in particular what the Kirklees pathfinder project was focusing on, the work we’d done so far, and the lessons we’d learnt.  

In this final blog I want to give recognition to those people who’ve supported the project both in giving up their time to tell us their story and test out digital tools, and to those who have taken on the role of Digital Champion.  

Our Digital Champions are those people who have committed to making the experience of accessing healthcare services better for people who have sight and/or hearing loss, by continuing to share information on accessible and useful digital tools and devices. 

After our first visit back in May, the staff at The Grange Group Practice have continued to support this cause by signing up as ‘Digital Champions’.  As well as sharing information, they are actively considering accessibility more broadly across their communication platforms, activities, and environment.

Lisa's quote

“We want the people who come to us to feel cared about.  We’re committed to doing what we can to support everyone.  We’ll be making some simple changes straight away as well as sharing information about digital products that are available to help, and which charities can support them further.  It really helps when people let us know that they would like support, we can then put it on our system so that the next time they come in we can be better prepared”  

Lisa - Reception Manager

Our Digital Champions come from all kinds of healthcare organisations, but it didn’t stop there.  Local charities, Kirklees Council and local education services all signed up too, which was amazing, and very much appreciated.

In our previous blog we talked about some of the local charities that had got involved, for example Molly from the Molly Watt Trust, who hooked us up with some of her community, made our Grange Group Practice visit vlog and has continued to share the outputs from the project.  David from KVIN and Dinos from RNIB also played an important role, bringing their expertise, support, and humour to our project and workshops.  

Sharon Morgan (Senior Disability Advisor at Huddersfield University), joined us at one of our workshops and was keen to ensure students at Huddersfield University benefited from whatever supporting information we could offer.  Here’s what Sharon had to say about her involvement as a Digital Champion.

Sharon's quote

“We were pleased to work with other agencies in the community to consider the challenges faced by those with visual or hearing difficulties and consider the range of supportive technology that is available. We will be sharing information from the project with students at our student support fayre next week and on our website.”

Sharon Morgan - Huddersfield University

Digi Pathfinder Blog Wellbeing 72

We met some wonderful people during the course of this project, and even those who couldn’t come along to our workshops wanted to share their stories.  Here ares a few quotes from our cases and stories:

“I’ve just got into Bluetooth.  This came across my radar and I began to wonder if it could help us, the hard of hearing. I just started asking people about it and I gradually learned. I think it’s wonderful.

“I like the magnifier function [on my smartphone], it means I can read things when I’m out and about without feeling embarrassed.”

“I didn’t do it [sign up to patient online services] straight away but I wish I had. I can’t tell you how much easier it is now I can make my own appointments. I can also order repeat prescriptions online, and they said that they ’re planning to add on the facility to view your test results at some point...”

Case Studies

We’ve written up a number of the case studies and stories which share insight into the challenges people with hearing and/or sight loss have when accessing their GP, and how digital devices and apps can make a difference, you can read these from the links below.

Anyone can be a digital champion, if you want to download any of our resources just click the link adjacent to the resource you want from the list below.

  • Healthcare staff Info pack - open  
  • Inclusion - Hearing - open  
  • Inclusion - Vision - open  
  • Accessibility Apps-Support - Hearing - open  
  • Accessibility Apps-Support - Vision - open  
  • Mobile Health digital pathfinder report - open
  • Patient online services - open   
  • Case Ada - read
  • Case Mark - read  
  • User stories during the ‘patient pathway’ workshop - read  
  • ‘My Experience’ stories
  • Richard’s story - read
  • Kay’s story - read
  • Mario’s story - read
  • Susannah & Alice’s story - read

Finally, we’d like to say thank you to everyone who engaged with us, supported us, and will continue to support access to health services for people with hearing and/or sight loss.

Further Information

Find out more about patient online services and how this might benefit you, or someone you know.  Most GP’s offer a range of functions including: booking GP appointments, getting test  results, ordering repeat prescriptions and seeing a summary patient record. 

NOTE: you will need to register with your GP for this service, they will let you know which functions they currently offer.

Find out more about the different Digital Pathfinder projects across the country.

Alison Braithwaite

Programme Lead

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