NHS Widening Digital Participation  -  our new Pathfinders

Written by Peter Nuckley

We have reached Wave 2 of our NHS Widening Digital Participation Programme and that means welcoming on board 5 new Pathfinders.

Each pathfinder is a bespoke, 12 month, funded project to co-design new ways of helping the most excluded in England improve their health - or access to health - through digital.

We will be constantly updating our findings and insights but here is a quick run through who is involved and what they are trying to do- click on the links to see our initial insights, first models and evaluation matrix for each pathfinder.

1. Hastings

Led by Seaview Project, this pathfinder is developing models of digital health interventions for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.


“If you can just come and check that I’m still breathing that would be great”

2. West Yorkshire 

Led by West Yorkshire STP and mHabitat, this Pathfinder is developing new ways of accessing healthcare providers for people who are hearing and/or sight impaired.



“I just want to explain once that I’m blind”

3. Nailsea

Led by Nailsea Town Council, this Pathfinder is creating a ‘Digital Health Hub on the High Street’. Tackling digital health inequalities through a designated space — a former butcher shop, no less.



“I just want a place where I can sit down and find things out if I want to”

4. Stoke-on-Trent

Led by Stoke-on-Trent CCG, this Pathfinder is focussed on people with long term conditions (specifically Asthma, A/F, Diabetes Type 2 and COPD) and how digital can support improvements in their care (including self-care).



“The Doctor only sees my average readings and I know I’ve not been good at times”

5. Bradford

Led by MYMUP, this Pathfinder is developing ways to empower young carers to improve their mental health through digital and also how this can translate to improvements for the people that they care for.



“I’ve been caring for 6 years. I’m 15. I’ve never been on holiday”

Our periods of Discovery for each of these pathfinders have been eye opening. The health professionals and users that we have co-designed these first models with have been inspirational, challenging and candid — everything that we need to make sure we are heading in a vaguely positive direction.

I am challenging our leads to constantly answer 3 questions;

What is going well?
What isn’t going well?
What has been changed?

I’m really looking forward to sharing some of these discussions with you in the coming months.

If you want to read more about what we are up to please have a look at our project map. If there is something there that you would like to discuss further or feel like you would like to be involved, then please don’t hesitate to contact me pete@goodthingsfoundation.org @pic_in_clouds #nhswdp