NHS.UK is the UK’s largest public facing health website for NHS patients in England. The website is designed as a ‘one stop’ online resource to help patients take control of their health and wellbeing.
Links on the site provide access to your NHS account as well as comprehensive information and guidance on:
- Health A to Z – guide to health conditions, symptoms, and treatments
- Medicines A to Z – medication, how and when to take and possible side effects
- guidance on who to contact appropriately for medical help
- other quality assured sources of information, and specific NHS services
- health conditions: diabetes: cancer: care and support: pregnancy: mental health.
The website has more than 50 million visits every month with more than 2,000 organisations using the website to share content, including other NHS organisations, local authorities, charities, and commercial organisations.
Your practice NHS.UK profile page
The NHS.UK website provides information on how to create and manage your practice’s NHS.UK profile page, along with guidance and frequently asked questions.
The GP contract requires all practices to have an online presence, such as a website, and an NHS.UK GP profile page. Practices can manage and upload their own content, including images and videos, and from April 2020, profile information must be updated at the least once every 12 months. Any changes to key information should be updated as and when the change occurs.
Key information to keep updated includes:
- general information such as address, opening hours and contact details
- appointment information
- information about facilities and services the practice provides
- staff profiles, including information about any clinical specialities
- patient registration process
- Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating
- local news and health related articles
- any other ways that patients access services, such as the link to the practice’s online services and video consultations.
An important feature of a practice profile is the ability to view and respond to service user comments and feedback about the services provided.
Practice websites should provide links for patients to use transactional services such as repeat prescription requests, access to own patient records, and appointment booking. They should also include a link to an online consultation platform.
Practices can also use their websites to inform their patients about things that they are able to ask for when requesting care, including:
- continuity of care, e.g. appointments with a particular member of the practice team
- contact by the practice at specific times of day, e.g. after 5pm due to work/school, college etc.
- different consultation types, e.g. face to face, telephone, online
- whether any assistance is needed, for example from a carer, or interpreter
- any other needs such as learning difficulties, hearing impairment or specific access requirements.
NHS.UK information quality
NHS.UK content is developed through collaboration with, and reviewed by, service users. To ensure information is safe, accurate and up-to-date, peer reviewed clinical research is sourced from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). All clinical content is signed off by a member of the NHS clinical safety team.
Aims of NHS.UK
The NHS.UK website aims to:
- support patients to take control of, and make informed choices about their health and wellbeing using current evidence-based information
- provide the latest information and advice about current health issues, such as Covid-19
- help patients use patient facing services (PFS) offered by their general practice and other online services in a variety of ways, including through the NHS App
- provide a single place for patients to visit for up-to-date health, lifestyle, and wellbeing information
- provide information and support for patients and their families living day to day with illness or disability
- help patients learn more about new and existing health conditions
- provide information about giving blood and become a blood donor
- help improve health and care outcomes, improve population health, and make care services more efficient
- improve individuals’ experiences of health and care services
- reduce pressure on frontline services
- act as a model for healthcare providers to use to share information with patients and the public.
NHS.UK provides access to a wide range of information and resources and in different formats, such as easy to follow videos. The range of topics includes:
- an A – Z of health conditions
- an A – Z of medication
- advice, tips, and tools to help patients make the best choices about health and wellbeing including eating well, exercise programmes, alcohol support and quitting smoking
- information about and support for mental health issues, including for example, how to get access to psychological therapy services, how to get urgent help, and common symptoms, feelings, and behaviours
- a social care and support guide for patients or carers who need to know about how to get help for day-to-day living with illness or disability
- a pregnancy guide with information about trying for a baby, pregnancy, labour, and birth
- guidance on how to respond to major health events, for example the Covid-19 pandemic and how to keep healthy, physically, and mentally
- help in making decisions about care and treatment options
- sharing reviews of service providers from patients and the public
- signposting to specialist services and information for example child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and gender dysphoria clinics
- helping people understand their rights when using services, for example data opt-out, and making a complaint
You can find the up-to-date list of services on the NHS.UK website, including how to use the NHS login, repeat prescription options, hospitals (by post code), sexual health services, visiting or moving to England, etc
The NHS.UK website is an online resource that aims to help patients take control of their health and wellbeing and provides current, evidence-based information on health, well-being, service availability and lifestyles. It can also be a very useful resource for general practice staff.
- ensure your practice has an up to date UK GP profile page to meet the requirement in the GP contract regulations
- advise patients of the importance of self-care and how the guidance on this website will support them to take control of their health and well being
- tell your patients through all your usual communication channels, including social media about NHS.UK and how it might help them
- familiarise yourself and other practice staff with the broad areas of content of NHS.UK
- link to NHS.UK where appropriate on your practice website, social media pages, text campaigns, etc.