The NHS Choices website has launched, it’s a patient-focused site “that aims to put you at the centre of your healthcare.” It looks nice and has some interesting areas that help users to find suitable health services. It also gives you an online health check. Apparently I have no risks for cardiovascular diseases. There is also as extensive list of patient information leaflets, which I may have to add to TRIP (after checking they are not copies of those on NHS Direct).

My main interest is in search, so that’s what I’ve spent most time on. A search for prostate cancer was interesting. The ‘hottest’ part of the results page was a set of options showing me what my GP was reading (and similar options). Lower down you actually get to the results, which seem appropriate. It seems strange that, as a user, the main results are not displayed in the most obvious part of the page. However, given the prominence of the link, I imagine an awful lot of people will be interested in what their GP was reading. The 2 results are below

  • Clinical Knowledge Summaries: Clinical topics full list Breast cancer — suspected … GI (lower) cancer — suspected … Prostate — benign hyperplasia
  • Clinical Knowledge Summaries: Clinical knowledge DH referral advice for suspect cancer

As a patient I would find that list slightly alarming! So, he’s looking at breast cancer, GI cancer, BPH – surely he should be looking at information relevant to my condition!

Apparently, my GP is reading the following in relation to my search of hypertension:

  • Diabetes — hypertension
  • Diabetes — hypertension … Hypertension … Hypertension in pregnancy
  • Alcohol — problem drinking
  • Alcohol — problem drinking

This site has obviously had large sums of money spent on it (I hear £3.5 million), it just seems a shame that it is let down by the poor implementation of search….

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