This partnership project engaged with carers to develop a project that would connect carers with technology and provide access to the wealth of information available.
At what level did the PPI take place?
PPI helped the project to:
- Improve efficiency of a service.
- Increase ownership.
We know from research that family carers need timely and relevant information in an accessible format. The internet and recent developments in technology mean that there is more information available than ever before. We also know that many family carers are unable to benefit from this information either due to a lack of skills, knowledge, confidence or lack of support. This partnership project engaged with carers to develop a project that would connect carers with technology and provide access to the wealth of information available.
Aim of involvement
Involvement of carers was integral to this project and carers were involved at the outset by inputting into two focus groups and the completion of 116 questionnaires. The project was promoted through the HSC’s extensive Carers Register – set up to ensure ongoing engagement with carers. In addition, the Project Team used a questionnaire to collect baseline information at the beginning of each session. Participants were also asked to complete an evaluation form.
Outcomes due to involvement.
Through involving users from the outset through focus groups and questionnaires, four computer training sessions were designed and provided locally for family carers. Carers were supplied with a laptop or were able to bring along their own tablet device or smartphone. Basic training and support covered topics such as Skype, Facebook, email and online shopping. As designed by carers, this was undertaken in small group sessions over four different locations in the Northern Trust area.
Carers knowledge of their digital device has improved, their confidence accessing online services has been increased, and their level of skill at using applications such as Skype, social media and email has improved. This will ultimately allow carers to access more services through the use of online forums, Facebook and other social media.
The project will continue and run sessions on individual topics, such as PayPal, Skype and Face Time. Also, information about services run through local libraries such as basic computer courses and training will be distributed to all carers on the Carers Register.
By developing and maintaining partnerships with other public sector organisations and communities we will ensure the use of free services and expertise that can be accessed locally for the benefit of the increasing number of carers.