Digital Volunteers in Weymouth & Portland have now helped their 1000th person access digital health services. The volunteers help patients to access and manage their health online.

Volunteering across practices in Weymouth and Portland, the digital champions show patients, who are experienced internet users, how they can access digital health tools that could speed up the process for interacting with their practice. This frees up the GP’s telephone line for people who are less confident in managing their health online. One practice said approximately 40% of calls that come into their admin team were from patients requesting their test results.

Meridy Phillips, the 1000th person to use the Digital Volunteers said:

“Frank, one of the Digital Volunteers, introduced me to the NHS app where I am able to order my repeat prescriptions and log my blood pressure and weight readings.

I first learned about the service when I saw a poster at my GP practice – I wanted advice about which health app would be best for me. Using the NHS app has really helped me as I’m able to keep an eye on things and saves me time not having to phone up for my repeat prescriptions, I would highly recommend the Digital Volunteers!”

The Digital Volunteers were initially recruited from people who had previously volunteered at the Weymouth Covid vaccination centre. A bespoke training session was created with Dorset Council’s Embedded Digital Champions programme and an experienced trainer from Cranborne & Lake Road PPG to give the digital volunteers the right information and confidence when speaking to members of the public.

The Digital Volunteers programme launched in May 2022 offering a drop-in service for patients wanting to know how to register, access and use online services such as Systmonline, eConsult, the NHS app, and the Airmid app. The service was an instant success with the most popular requests including accessing health records and viewing test results.

The Digital Volunteers now operate in most GP surgeries in Weymouth and Portland and are supporting NHS Dorset’s Digital Services at Home Team (D@SH) to introduce digital technology in the management of long-term medical conditions including hypertension.

For more information on the Weymouth and Portland digital volunteers please contact:

A screenshot of Jim Gammans Twitter post which is of Weymouth and Portland digital volunteers smiling and holding up a 1,000! banner to mark their 1,000th person accessing digital health services