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Just 6% of over-55s used online services during Covid-19 - RSA statement on Matt Hancock comments

Press Release

Focus on greater digital skills

Commenting on Matt Hancock's proposals on the use of technology in health and social care, Hannah Webster, senior researcher at the RSA, said:

"Increasing the use of online and video consultations is popular: an RSA survey showed that 72% of people across the UK supported this.

"But more work needs to be done before we can go digital by default in our healthcare.

"While the desire to increase the use of technology was consistent across all ages, the proportion of people who told us they accessed online services during the pandemic was higher amongst young people - 25% of 18-34 year olds accessed online services compared to 6% of over-55s - suggesting that there are complex barriers to moving online.

"There are also other challenges that need to be explored. Inequalities in access to technology are related to more than just age and encompass economic status, geographical location, language and clinical conditions to name but a few.

"We need a People’s Health and Care Commission to put lived experience at the centre of policy decisions around the future of our health and social care system. As part of this, the government should review digital service adoption by enabling people to feed in on their experience during the pandemic and beyond."




Ash Singleton, Head of Media & Communications,, 07799 737 970.  



The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) is an independent charity which believes in a world where everyone is able to participate in creating a better future.  

Through our ideas, research and a 30,000 strong Fellowship, we are a global community of proactive problem solvers, sharing powerful ideas, carrying out cutting-edge research and building networks. We create opportunities for people to collaborate, influence, and demonstrate practical solutions to realise change.  

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