Creating and inspiring Digital Champions across the North East and North Cumbria

25th May 2022

As part of our Digital Pioneers programme to drive digital innovation in primary care, we’ve launched a new education programme inviting staff across general practice, pharmacy, optometry and dentistry to become Digital Champions within their organisation.

Digital Champions is a free 12 month education programme for people who want to inspire others to embrace digital technology and improve their own digital skills.

Here, Anna Buckle from Redmoor Health, who is leading the programme, tells us more.

Are you someone who is enthusatic about change, wants to improve your internal processes, and better patient/client experience?

The Digital Champions programme can support you to achieve these goals, and will give you the opportunity to learn from best practice examples nationally.

I’m Anna Buckle from Redmoor Health, and I’m leading on this programme with my colleague Clare Temple. Redmoor Health have a wealth of knowledge about digital technology in healthcare and have been supporting frontline NHS staff to use digital technology for the past five years.

Covid-19 has accelerated the use of digital in the NHS and at Redmoor Health we believe it’s crucial that organisations have, forward thinking people progressing new ways of working. I’ve had so many positive experiences working with Digital Champions across the country. A couple of my favourite examples of success stories are:

  • A Digital Champion used Facebook to promote their practices cervical cancer screenings, and after the wide engagement on the campaign, they received a 50% increase in screenings! Think of all the things you could use social media to promote.
  • A nurse started promoting the use of health management apps with patients, and the patient feedback was incredible as they felt empowered to manage their own health.Some patients commented that it felt as if they had their nurse in their pocket.

Digital Champions all have different experiences and it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at with using technology; whether you see yourself as advanced, or are at the beginning of your digital journey. All we ask is for enthusiasm to drive change and our programme is here to help and guide you with whatever direction you’d like to take. Being a digital champion enables you to learn more, make change and develop in your professional career.

In addition to the support that Redmoor Health can offer, this programme gives you the opportunity to meet others who have similar goals to you, and can support you to achieve them. We believe that peer to peer support is a key driver for positively influencing change and here will be lots of opportunities to learn from other Digital Champions!

This programme was launched at the end of April, and our first cohort of Digital Champions are beginning to use their new skills to make changes in their organisations. We don’t expect you to start using 100 different types of digital, our motto is ‘small changes, big impacts’!

The first cohort has been a great success so far, but don’t just take our word for it, this is what digital champion, Beth Wolland from West Road Medical Centre had to say:

“I was starting to feel disheartened with digital but this has been amazing and reignited my fire!”

Sign up to become a Digital Champion

During the 12 month programme you’ll be expected to complete 12 hours of programme activities including two virtual education sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to learn about digital communications, including website and social media; engaging patients in digital and online services; and best practice examples across primary care services.

If you’re interested in becoming a Digital Champion, there’s monthly cohorts running over the course of this year, and the next course will begin on Thursday 30th June 2022. Please contact Leanne Maitland for more information: [email protected].

To find out more about the Digital Champions programme visit www.ahsn-nenc.org.uk/digital-champions/