NHS 'MySpace' will go online at end of month

Each practice in England will have its own 'MySpace' type page on the £3.6 million NHS Choices online service from the end of this month.

Practice managers will be able to edit and update their own web pages. The site, which launched in June 2007 and is estimated to cost £10 million a year to run, has been criticised because of the inaccuracy of some of the information relating to practices on the site.

The original data were imported from the old NHS site and individual practices relied on their PCTs to input information and changes on to the NHS Choices site.

Programme director for NHS Choices Beverley Bryant said that this method was inefficient and led to too much information going uncorrected.

'We had to act quickly to ensure that information on the site was not only accurate but was also owned and developed by each practice', she said.

In the middle of this month, practices will be sent a template to allow them to begin online editing of their own web pages.

It will provide patients with the most up-to-date details about surgery opening times, access for new patients, available services, appointments and biographies of staff.

Practice managers can upload their own patient satisfaction surveys. Quality framework details and the national patient survey will be uploaded centrally.

As with MySpace, practices will be able to upload photos and videos on to their own page and will have the opportunity to explain to patients and potential patients, the strengths of their services.

NHS Choices links to the NHS information library, one of the country's largest sources of online medical information.

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