Study by ntl:Telewest Business reveals public concern over some locations accessing digital services before others
Nearly a third of people in Great Britain feel they are not equipped to access the benefits of NHS e-services based on their location, according to the first part of a national study published by ntl:Telewest Business today. The study indicates that the availability of digital services at some GP practices while not at others is leading to public concern over some areas reaping the benefits of NHS e-services faster than others.
According, to ntl:Telewest Business research, 16 per cent of people polled have access to one or more digital service such as electronic appointment bookings, electronic reminders and prescriptions. Living in technically advanced areas has put them in the frontline for accessing the benefits of e-services. More than three quarters of people (84%), however cited that they are still unable to access the benefits that digital services have to afford.
Nearly a third (31%) of people who do not have access to digital services surveyed about their views on this situation felt negatively towards some areas having access to digital services that had not yet been made available in their postcode.
One in ten (12% of this group) felt appalled by the situation and felt it was unacceptable. Alarmingly, 1 in 5 people were not surprised, feeling that some regions of Great Britain were discriminated against when it came to accessibility to local health services.
19 per cent of respondents believed they were getting a worse service from their GPs compared to family and friends that lived in a different part of the country, indicating public concern over some areas advancing far more than others in NHS delivery were in fact rising.
“Digital services are transforming the NHS and have a real part to play in improving patient care in Great Britain,” said Christopher Small, Director of Public Sector at ntl:Telewest Business. “But, as the onus is still at a local level to roll these out, it is clear that technologically advanced areas of Great Britain will reap more benefits faster.”
Mr Small continued: “The ntl:Telewest Business research warns that this postcode lottery on the delivery of digital services could lead to some areas feeling left behind and rising concerns from the public. More guidance is needed from the government at a grass roots level to help organisations finding it difficult to keep up with developments to prevent the emerging digital divide in the NHS from widening.”
The ntl:Telewest Business Digital NHS Study 2006, which polled more than 2,200 people across Great Britain, was conducted on behalf of ntl:Telewest Business by public research specialist YouGov. The first part of the study sought to examine the public’s view’s on the rollout of NHS digital services and its general views on GP communications.
Key findings of the research also included:
· Of those who do not have access to digital services respondents from the Midlands, North East and North Scotland felt the most strongly that some regions of Great Britain are clearly discriminated against when it comes to accessing local health services
· Also of those who do not have access to digital services Londoners and respondents from the Midlands felt the most appalled at the situation and felt that this was unacceptable
· 14 per cent of people polled felt communication on public health issues was either fairly bad or very bad with those in the younger age bracket felt the least informed
· Email (55 per cent), post (52 per cent) and GP web sites (37 per cent) were the most preferred methods of communication for receiving information on health issues
About ntl Incorporated
On 3 March 2006 ntl Incorporated completed a merger with Telewest Global, Inc. creating the UK's largest provider of residential broadband and the UK's leading provider of triple play services. The company operates under the name of ntl Incorporated.
ntl offers a wide range of communications and entertainment services to more than 5 million residential customers. ntl's networks can service more than 12 million homes - 50% of UK households - and 85% of UK businesses.
ntl's content division, Flextech Television provides television channels for the UK multichannel TV market and owns transactional channels price-drop TV, bid tv, speed auction tv and screenshop. Flextech owns 6 entertainment channels - LIVINGtv, LIVINGtv 2, Bravo, Challenge, Trouble, Ftn (plus their time shifted variants) and is a 50% partner in UKTV which consists of ten channels including UKTV Gold, UKTV Drama and UKTV History. Together Flextech and UKTV are the largest supplier of basic channels to the UK pay-TV market.
Further information about ntl and its products can be found at www.ntl.com, www.telewest.co.uk or www.flextech.co.uk
About ntl:Telewest Business
ntl:Telewest Business, part of the UK’s second largest fixed-line telecommunications company, is a leading communications provider to businesses, public sector organisations and service providers in the UK. It delivers a complete portfolio of voice, data and internet solutions nation-wide.
ntl:Telewest Business sales and support teams are located across the UK, in close proximity to our customers, as part of a commitment to deliver superior customer service.
ntl:Telewest Business delivers services over the Group’s £13bn investment in its state-of-the-art infrastructure giving business customers access to the largest alternative network in the UK.
ntl:Telewest Business is trusted to provide critical communications to high profile customers including: Heathrow's Terminal 5, Birmingham City Council, Cambridge County Council and Next.
For further information go to www.business.ntl.com or www.telewest.co.uk/business
For further information:
ntl:Telewest Business press contacts:
Sara Doggett, PR Executive
T: 01256 753101
Zuzanna Pasierbinska, Press Office
Tel: 020 7494 6575
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