Healthwatch Torbay and NHS Automation

(Last Updated On: June 12, 2018)


The NHS could free up £12.5bn worth of frontline time through investing in a far-reaching programme of automation, according to a new report, and a further £6bn productivity gain could be realised by automation within social care.

Rather than leading to job losses, the report says, automation within health and social care could complement human skills and talents by reducing the burden of repetitive and administrative tasks, so staff could be able to spend more time on direct patient care.

Tasks such as communicating medical notes, booking appointments and processing prescriptions could be carried out through digital technology. Even social care could be improved by introducing “care-bots,” enabling people to live longer and more fulfilling lives, the think tank suggests.

Healthwatch Torbay is in the loop, then, with its Digital Inclusion Project.

As lots of people can’t access vital health and social care resources on the internet – things like booking a doctor’s appointment or ordering a prescription – Healthwatch Torbay is helping them get on line.

Its Digital Inclusion Project is a free programme of online health and social care training and support, designed to train volunteers who will then have the skills to help others.

If you have IT skills that you could use to help others and have a bit of spare time the Digital Inclusion Project needs you!

They need still more volunteers to run training sessions in places like libraries and community centres as well as also be offering one-to-one support so that people can get help in their own homes and be shown how to use online resources.

If you think you could help, why not call – free – on 08000 520029, or email You could even call in to their offices for a chat in Paignton Library.

Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!