Department of Health and Social Care
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NHS websites join up to show the choices on offer
Patients looking for information about the choices available for their healthcare will now be able to find it all on one NHS website.
NHS Choices and NHS Direct, two of the country's leading health websites, are joining forces to provide the public with all the health information they need in one place.
The public are now able to access all of the NHS's health content from one easy to navigate website, NHS Choices at http://www.nhs.uk. The site will offer trusted advice and information so the public can understand and exercise their choice about health and healthcare.
From today, whether you are considering which hospital to choose or checking what your symptoms might mean, all of the NHS's knowledge and expertise will be available from a single website.
This move means the NHS will have one of the most comprehensive online health information services in the world.
Health is one of the most searched for subjects on the internet and it is crucial the NHS provides safe and accurate online information to meet this demand by creating a single front door to all its knowledge and services.
Now NHS Choices offers the public access to: self-help guides, comparative information on hospitals, guides to long-term conditions, practice profiles to help find GPs and much more.
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw, said:
"By putting all our online health information on http://www.nhs.uk, the public will easily be able to find out the most suitable health options for them, from where to have their treatment to the best ways of keeping fit and healthy".
"This single site will make it easier for the public to find reliable health information quickly and will give relevant and accurate advice that will help them to make their own decisions and choices about their health and healthcare "
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Notes to Editors
For further information please contact NHS Choices on 0207 972
The introduction of free choice in April 08 means that patients referred to see a specialist are themselves able to choose where they are treated from any hospital that meets NHS standards. The list includes many private hospitals as well as all NHS providers. Between them offer everything from treatment to your cataracts to open-heart surgery.
On the site, http://www.nhs.uk, Patients can compare hospitals by clicking on the option 'compare hospitals', selecting their postcode and treatment required.
Main features on the integrated NHS Choices, http://www.nhs.uk site include:
Hospital comparisons - data on how local hospitals are performing on a series of clinical and non-clinical indicators including MRSA rates, survival rates, car parking.
NHS Guides to long-term conditions - step by step guide from prevention to living with a condition.
Health A-Z - more than 700 conditions and treatments explained in words and videos.
Self help guide - online tools to help establish the extent of an ailment and whether further medical support is needed.
Health Encyclopaedia - giving reliable information on more than 800 conditions and treatments.
Common Health Questions - allows users to obtain answers to topical and frequently asked health questions
Online Enquiry Service - users can submit and receive answers to non-emergency health questions
NHS blogs - online communities discussing what it involves to live every day with a long-term condition. Find out from the arthritis blog the best way to buy a car if you have arthritis.
Live Well - Magazine-style advice on how to stay fit and healthy from patients and experts, including hundreds of videos and tools on how to maintain your best health.
Pregnancy Care Planner - the first NHS one stop shop for expectant parents.
Patient ratings - Leave comments on a hospitals and read what others are saying.
Find a service - All the NHS services in one place, from GPs to dentists.
Behind the headlines - exclusive NHS news service provides expert analysis on the days top medical stories.