NHS Digital said that the success of a digital health hub piloted in Nailsea has paved way for NHS to open more such hubs across England.
The agency said that the new digital health hubs will open across North West London, the Wirral, Stafford, Blackburn and Middlesbrough following increasing demand from their respective councils.
NHS Digital said that organisations in the five new areas will use their own digital health hubs to learn what works in their area, and also use the learnings from Nailsea and other existing Pathfinders.
The digital health hub project is part of the Widening Digital Participation Programme undertaken by the NHS with an objective to make digital health services and information accessible to everyone, especially for the most excluded people in society.
The NHS established Nailsea Place in 2018, which is a digital health and wellbeing learning centre, where staff and volunteers have been helping people to boost their digital skills and confidence in order to engage with online services.
NHS Digital said that the Nailsea digital hub initiative has till date engaged 1,340 people including people with dementia, diabetes, autism and those acting as young caretakers.
Assistance offered by the centre includes using Skype messenger to contact friends and family, ordering a repeat prescription and selecting a preferred hospital provider for an appointment or surgery.
The digital health hub pilot is a partnership formed by local NHS services, Nailsea Town Council and Healthwatch.
Nailsea Town Council development manager Ian Morrell said: “The digital revolution has created disadvantages which did not previously exist, and many people feel excluded and left behind. At No. 65, we have aimed to build trust with the local community, and provide one-to-one support, introducing people to technology in an accessible way so they can see the benefits digital can provide.
“When people come to us for help with technology, the first thing we do is find out what they need – so we are providing a service that is led by users, and which ensures they get what they want from the support we can offer.”