Digital exclusion has significantly exacerbated the inequities felt by sections of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. A seachange occurred through the pandemic response moving many (previously reluctant) services into “digital first” models eg education, healthcare services including GP consultations, national and local government services and of course retail services. Digitally exclusion may arise from poverty, rurality (connectivity), old age, homelessness, lack of access to public funded services (eg asylum seekers), cultural constraints and individual capabilities An estimated 11.7 million people in the UK don’t have basic digital skills and poor access to digital services is associated with poorer health outcomes. At the extreme we could see a population effectively left “off-grid” and significantly disadvantaged and disempowered in a digital first world.
Submitted on behalf of the Greater Lincolnshire UN Association