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DHCW awarded Digital Inclusion Charter Accreditation after 'exemplary' approach

24th January 2024

DHCW’s approach to digital inclusion has been described as “exemplary” after being awarded Digital Inclusion Charter Accreditation.

The Digital Inclusion Charter exists to support and champion organisations working in the public, private or third sector in Wales who are willing to promote basic digital skills and help people get online.

The charter is part of the Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Wellbeing programme, delivered by Cwmpas.

DHCW joins 10 other organisations to be awarded accreditation.

After signing the charter at the first Digital Summit in September 2022, DHCW has now gone on to gain accreditation after successfully submitting an action plan outlining the organisation’s work and ongoing commitment towards the charter’s six key pledges.

It comes after DHCW established a digital inclusion working group – chaired by CEO Helen Thomas – to oversee the implementation of the digital inclusion action plan, ensuring accountability and collective ownership and recognising that digital inclusion is everyone’s concern.

In awarding the accreditation, Digital Communities Wales noted DHCW’s “progressive vision” towards digital inclusion, and a “genuine understanding” of the need for digital skills, confidence and access for all.

DHCW’s Integrated Medium-Term Plan (IMTP) places a strong focus on how digital and data can help manage the significant pressure on healthcare services and improve outcomes.

Our clear commitment to digital inclusion within the Integrated Medium-Term Plan (IMTP) was hailed an “excellent” example of how health bodies can effectively embed digital inclusion within an IMTP.

From Microsoft 365 access and the Enterprise Skills Initiative to internal and external digital training programmes for staff, DHCW’s “solid foundation" for allowing staff to gain basic digital skills and develop them further was also highlighted.

The Health and Wellbeing Network that provides digital resources for staff was described as an “excellent example” of supporting the health and wellbeing of staff through the use of digital tools.

Initiatives including digital inclusion surveys, digital champions for outreach, the development of the NHS Wales App with a dedicated working group and the community projects initiative around promoting digital skills adoption were also commended.

Helen Thomas, CEO of DHCW, said:

“I am extremely proud that DHCW’s work in supporting the drive for a digitally inclusive nation has been recognised by Digital Communities Wales.

“Achieving Digital Inclusion Charter Accreditation is a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to ensuring that everyone in Wales can access digital systems to empower them to lead healthier lives.

“We constantly seek ways to innovate and improve while continuing the consistent delivery of core digital, data and technology services, and we will work closely with the communities we serve across Wales to ensure digital equity is a reality for all.”

Cadi Cliff, Digital Communities Wales Programme Manager, said:

“DHCW are leading the way in their commitment to mainstreaming and embedding digital inclusion to ensure that no one in Wales is left behind.

“As our society becomes more digital, having DHCW as a champion of digital inclusion is crucial to ensuring inclusive digital health and care services for the people of Wales.”