e-Participation Toolkit: using online technology to involve patients, carers and communities

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The e-Participation Toolkit provides examples of how online technology is being used to involve people both in their own care and when designing and delivering local health and care services. 

The toolkit discusses the benefits and challenges of e-participation and describes how blogs and microblogs, social networking, digital apps, wikis, multimedia sites, online forums, third-party feedback sites and bespoke e-participation websites can be used for two-way dialogue with patients, carers and communities.

The Toolkit sets out clearly what is meant by 'e-participation', including improving information and providing opportunities for patients to give feedback, one-way communication (from the NHS and the person), two-way communication (to and from the NHS to the person), carrying out transactions – such as managing appointments and requesting repeat prescriptions - and peer support.  

It sets out the benefits and the challenges of e-participation, as well as some general points to help people think through when and how to use technology to support participation. It then explores when and how to use different approaches including blogs, microblogs, social networking, digital apps, wikis and collaborative communities, content communities, internet forums and on-line communities, third party feedback sites, and bespoke e-participation sites.

It finishes by setting out some key questions and approaches to help evaluate e-participation.

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