NHS is taking the social media plunge

Written by Silja on 17 February 2009 in epatients - 5 Comments

Very exciting initiative by the NHS, with their recently released beta version on nhsunlocked, ratings and advice from patients.

The site offers hospital center ratings and groups by disease area. That by itself is not so innovative, you might correctly remark. What got me excited is the collaborative spirit in which the site was set up.

Their Hepatitis C, Muscular Dystrophy and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy groups all partner with existing patient advocacy groups and campaigns. There are official links to leading patient blogs and online community, like for example Ron Metcalfe’s Living without HepC which features a great patient testimony on the interferon treatment journey or the patientslikeme PSP community. The also link to another of my favorite rare disease and social media projects, action duchenne.

This is, to my knowledge, the first time an official European government agency openly endorses links to “grass root“ patient online communities. You can feel, the NHS really did their homework in identifying the most reliable, influential and valuable internet resources for patients. And this regardless of whether it is a UK or other English-speaking site!

Great initiative, you guys from the NHS! Any interest in collaborating with pharma on some of these initiatives?

By the way, you can also follow the NHS on twitter ;-)

5 Comments on "NHS is taking the social media plunge"

  1. Caspar Aremi 18 February 2009 at 11 h 39 min ·

    Hi,
    I was interested to read this (via your twitter updates, i run the @NHSChoicesTalk account). You may have seen on NHS Choices we already have visitors rating hospital experiences at all NHS sites (and private hospitals where NHS services are provided).

    We also have a blogs area where we have a number of condition based blogs (diabetes, asthma, arthritis etc) where patients, carers, medical professionals, charity staff etc all post day to day experiences, the latest news & research and so on with the aim of sharing these to people newly diagnosed or looking for more information about how the conditions affect lives. We’ve tried to ensure each of these link out to other blogs & online communities as well as the well known charities. We’ll be working on developing these offerings over time.

  2. Matt Jameson Evans 18 February 2009 at 12 h 25 min ·

    Thanks for the big-up Silje on your excellent blog- you seem to really understand the bottom-up focus of our site. Just to say that we are actually independent of the NHS (although have worked within it for 10 years) and are using its structure as a means to bring people together.

    The NHS is really synonymous with healthcare in the UK, and we wanted to focus on the geography of peoples circumstances as well as their medical problems or interests. We want to provide them with useful information pinpointed to their health issue and their locality. If you’re living with Hep C in the north of England you’d probably get more relevant information from someone who lives in York than someone who lives in New York…

    Wish you all the best with your blog

    Matt Jameson Evans, co-founder nhsUnlocked

  3. Silja 18 February 2009 at 14 h 30 min ·

    Thank you Casper and Matt for correcting me and pointing me to your respecitve sites. My apologies for the confusion ;-) .

    As you might imagine, I like your initiatives of linking out to patient run, credible info sources. like leading blogs and forums. I believe this is where one can make a trus difference by learning about and driving awareness, access and adherence to treatments. I will check out your sites again and complete my update from yesterday.

    Thanks again,
    Silja

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