Institute of Health Visiting publish article on supporting vulnerable families facing digital poverty

Published: 18th March 2021

Debbie Fawcett and Nicola Ford, Specialist Health Visitors (Children's division), have written an article which has been accredited and published by the Institute of Health Visiting on their experience of delivering service during the coronavirus pandemic. In the article, Debbie and Nicola convey how venerable families were supported in the hardships of using digital platforms due to turmoil in services, including housing advice, claiming benefits and medical appointments.

During the national lockdown, the health visiting team shifted from face-to-face consultations to telephone or virtual meetings. Debbie and Nicola continued visiting temporary accommodation settings, including bed and breakfast, women's refuges and multiple-unit blocks to facilitate families with limited WI-FI connection and lack of internet access to read the latest coronavirus pandemic information and guidance. 

They had successfully demonstrated innovativeness and agility in their work which made a positive impact on families' using digital technology during the crisis. 

In response to their accomplishment, Nicola commented, "Debbie and I have faced many challenges negotiating the difficulties of providing a regular service during the pandemic. It is great to receive such recognition for our role. 

"I am grateful for the support we have received from the team in Merton, who have ensured we perused with face-to-face contacts safely, which has benefited some of our vulnerable families", added Nicola. 

Debbie explained: "The past year has been an extraordinary time for health visiting and school nursing teams, but for families facing disadvantage and homelessness, it has been even more challenging with lack of internet access meant further exclusion and isolation. It was rewarding to make a real difference to families and children." 

Read more about the triumphs in overcoming barriers using technology during the coronavirus pandemic.


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