NHS IT, Records and Data

11.03.20

NHS unveils measures to assist people finding trusted health information online

The NHS has unveiled a new package of measures to help assist people finding trusted health information online.

Working alongside Google to provide the new developments, it will ensure the UK public have easy access to NHS information about more than 250 of the most searched for health conditions on the NHS website, through new Knowledge Panels.

As part of the developments, the NHS is seeking to ensure the public are presented with accurate and up-to-date information, however they search for it. The Knowledge Panels will include information about symptoms, treatment and causes.

Following the change, if a somebody searches on their mobile device for one of the featured conditions using Google, they will see NHS links and content, all sourced directly from the NHS website. This will help to ensure thousands of people are provided direct access straight to NHS advice.

The information from the website has been syndicated and is freely available for any search engine, social media platform or other organisation to use as part of efforts to ensure the public can easily access NHS content. Sourced directly from the NHS website, the information has been specifically curated to ensure that it all remains clinically assured and in accessible in bitesize chunks.

The NHS website is viewed millions of times a year, with more than three quarters of visits coming directly from internet searches on mobile phones.

Tara Donnelly, chief digital officer at NHSX, said: “One of NHSX’s key missions is to ensure the public are provided with accurate health information so they can be confident they are following official NHS advice.

“By making NHS website content free to use for third party organisations, we will ensure people get NHS advice when they search online rather than some of the many other sources, some with guidance that isn't right for the UK, and some that just aren’t right.”

Professor Jonathan Benger, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Digital, which runs the NHS website, added: “Getting the right health information to the public is essential, and syndication from the NHS website means that people can be confident that the information they see meets the highest clinical standards.”

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