Professor Sir Chris Whitty states in the Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2021, “Coastal communities, the villages, towns and cities of England’s coast, include many of the most beautiful, vibrant and historically important places in the country. They also have some of the worst health outcomes in England, with low life expectancy and high rates of many major diseases”.
Digital inequity is part of that.
Three types of digital equity exist:
- digital connection: being able to access the same digital facilities and services as everyone else
- digital employability: having an equal chance for jobs in the digital economy
- digitally-enabled: using digital to have an equal chance of participating in aspects of society otherwise denied.
Researchers at the University of Plymouth, including Professor Ray Jones and Professor Sheena Asthana – who contributed to the Chief Medical Officer's Report – and Professor Katharine Willis have been working to address these digital inequities and poor health outcomes in our coastal communities.