To ensure that new NHS technology does not overlook older patients, a survey has taken patient’s comfort levels of using digital services
Despite NHS technology taking on a new form to address health needs from patients’ mobile devices rather than in person, a study finds that older patients still feel connected and included.
According to new research from technology professional services Gemserv, these older patients feel very comfortable with digital NHS services.
Since the pandemic, online services have been adopted nationally to address health needs and requirements to ensure the safety of older people from getting COVID-19. Since then, digital services have taken lead in NHS healthcare.
“By embracing a hybrid model of patient delivery, the NHS can perform its role of improving the health of the nation, while helping reduce its impact on the environment”
COVID-19 forced patient services to go online
The study, with over 2000 patients, conducted by OnePoll, looked at attitudes toward accessing NHS services over two years after the first UK-enforced lockdown following the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although there were some concerns regarding the outset of lockdowns that older patients may have been marginalised by requirements to use technology for healthcare services, over half of those over 65 report being comfortable receiving a consultation with their GP over the phone or video call – at 54%.
David Newell, director of health at Gemserv, said: “By embracing a hybrid model of patient delivery, the NHS can perform its role of improving the health of the nation, while helping reduce its impact on the environment through reduced traveling and reconsidering real estate.”
Additionally, up to one in five (20%) – the same number as those aged 18-24 – even reported feeling “very comfortable” with such digital interactions.
One in three (32%) over 65s were very satisfied with their last engagement with the NHS since the outset of the pandemic, with a further quarter (28%) feeling fairly satisfied.
These statistics indicate an overall feeling of positivity around the digital services being provided, between online and within surgeries and hospitals.
34% said the NHS’ performance was ‘excellent’
34% of patients over 65 even stated that the NHS’ performance was excellent since the onset of the pandemic.
This is nearly double that of those aged 18-24 (18%). A further 37% of over 65s rated its performance as good, during this time period.
David Newell added: “Pivoting services during the pandemic was a difficult first step for the NHS, as it was for many organisations, and it’s encouraging to see that older people have still been able to access services and are even championing this new service delivery.”