To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support people that are required to access the internet for advice and treatment for covid-19 symptoms that do not have (a) sufficient broadband connectivity and (b) the digital skills to arrange and conduct an appointment online.
18 May 2020
The Government is committed to bringing faster, gigabit-capable broadband to the whole country as soon as possible. To achieve this, we are removing the barriers to industry speeding up broadband rollout and are investing £5 billion so the hardest to reach areas are not left behind. We are promoting the DevicesDotNow campaign to get internet-enabled devices and support to vulnerable people isolated in their homes without internet access. Devices are being distributed through community organisations that are also providing the support needed to enable people lacking digital skills and confidence to use them. NHSX in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to develop a standardised training package to train Digital Ambassadors to support those with no or low digital skills in accessing health services online. General practitioner practices are also still offering appointments that can be booked over the phone and having phone consultations with patients and inviting them into the practice where necessary.