The purpose of Digital Hubs and Champions is to provide online confidence to the citizens and communities to access support services and health care tools.
In 2013, partners Unionlearn, the learning and skills arm of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Liverpool Vision and NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) established around 50 digital “hubs” operating from community venues and workplaces across the City. NHS LCCG recognised that self-care and technology will only achieve scale if citizens and communities are digitally included. The hub model is very flexible;
• static, based in community centres, offering online access through desk top computers
• “pop up” in community facilities with wi-fi enabled devices e.g. tablets
• mobile, moving around community facilities using laptops and tablets.
This approach enables wide and deep reach – situated in places that people like and need to go. Over 300 Digital Champions have been recruited and trained to support citizens make the most of hub facilities.

The primary task of the Hubs/Champions is therefore to help people find a reason to be online – shopping, Skyping grandchildren, playing games, listening to music, researching family history…looking at cats etc.
The activity provides , confidence, skills and tools to help the activation of online citizen but also signpost to other useful resources

• TUC Unionlearn
• Henshaws Society for the Blind
• Range of community partners to house Hubs, recruit champions etc.

• Digitally excluded citizens
• Citizens who have digital skills to support others (Digital Champions)

Resources needed

NHS Liverpool CCG co-financed with Innovate UK funding.

Evidence of success

• 50 Digital Hubs and 300 Digital Champions were recruited and trained in Liverpool City Region
• 3717 Citizens Engaged
Reduced digital exclusion
• Increased appetite to be online
• Improved health literacy
• Increased awareness of digital supported self- care
• Increased awareness of digital products and services to support improved lifestyle.

Difficulties encountered

• Partners facing austerity measures from other funding sources.
• People who are poorer, less skilled, in ill-health, and older, are the people most likely to be digitally excluded. As such, people that the NHS need to engage with about online healthcare can be the most difficult to reach.

Potential for learning or transfer

Key learning from this good practice is the citizens are not online is because they have not found a reason be. However, the activity provides, confidence, skills and tools to help the activation of online citizen but also signpost to other useful resources.
Digital exclusion is reducing locally (so no reason to scale)
• Options to use resource to support digital channel shift amongst citizens
• Model transferrable to other localities
Main institution
NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Start Date
October 2012
End Date


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