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New Digital Inclusion Report Released by ECSW


A new report produced by Engaging Communities South West has highlighted local people’s experiences with using digital or internet services during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Torbay Digital Inclusion Feedback Report was produced for a partnership of local organisations, including Torbay Council, the local NHS and voluntary, community and charity groups, who wanted to know more about people’s experiences with new digital ways of using services.


You can download the report by clicking the following link: Torbay Digital Inclusion Report – Final Version


Key Findings include:

  • Most survey respondents had used a mobile phone (91%) or computer (82%) with the significant majority using these to access internet services such as search engines (82%) or emails (80%). 10% said they hadn’t used any internet services and 32% had used the internet to access coronavirus advice and information.
  • Respondents appreciated being able to access services from home at times that were convenient for them, removing the need to arrange travel and parking, and were pleased that the digital services were easy to use. Respondents liked that they could find up-to-date information online, particularly regarding Covid-19.
  • Respondents also found that some digital services are inadequate or difficult to use; some said that sites were difficult to navigate, slow to load, or time-consuming to use. Many respondents did not name specific services, but some mentioned eConsult and NHS 111 specifically; both services were criticised for having too many questions and rigid question pathways.
  • 24% of respondents said they needed extra help to use digital services, with 60% of these saying they received help from family members.
  • 54% of respondents said they had no barriers to using the internet. The most common barriers were data protection and internet security concerns (17%), lack of IT knowledge or skills (17%), lack of confidence (13%), lack of motivation to use the internet (11%), and not feeling safe using the internet (9%).
  • 51% of people over the age of 55 said there were no barriers to using internet services, compared to 63% of people under 55. People aged over 55 were particularly more likely than people under 55 to cite lack of IT skills (23% vs 4%), data protection and security concerns (18% vs 10%), and lack of motivation (14% vs 6%) as barriers to internet service use.
  • 38% of people with disabilities reported that there were no barriers to accessing internet services, compared to 61% of people without disabilities. People with disabilities were particularly more likely to report that lack of IT skills (28% vs 12%), lack of confidence (23% vs 10%) and data protection concerns (28% vs 12%) as barriers to internet service use.