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Health Services: Digital Technology

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the principles of digital inclusion are applied to mainstream health services. (268989)

Where digital services are offered to citizens, the Department is working to ensure no citizens are disadvantaged due to access to relevant technology. The Department is participating in the preparation of the cross-government Digital Inclusion Action Plan. The principal channel for tackling digital inclusion is through NHS Choices. In October 2008, NHS Choices launched a new Carers Direct hub on its site aimed at carers of people with disabilities and long-term conditions. NHS Choices is also developing an online training programme aimed at health information intermediaries, who can work with those who lack access to the internet. From April 2009, NHS Choices takes over the NHS Direct digital TV service on Freeview and will be developing this further as an access channel for non-internet users.