Patients unaware of NHS Choices, £80,000 study finds

Older people with long-term health conditions have not heard of NHS Choices and other health information websites, according to a study costing £80,000.

The report ‘Including Everyone in Electronic Health Information Services’ was carried out by RaFT Research and Consulting Ltd and commissioned by NHS Connecting for Health. It included interviews with 50 older people, including people on low incomes and those with a learning disability from Bolton, Salford, Bury and Manchester.

Those surveyed also had little knowledge of the online health record service HealthSpace and Easyhealth, which offers health advice for those with learning disabilities.

Some felt NHS Choices in particular was aimed at people that were newly diagnosed and could not help those who had a condition for many years.

Participants were positive about NHS Choices and Easyhealth when the services were demonstrated to them.

The report suggests that leaflets and posters in GP surgeries and hospital clinics might help raise awareness.

Tracey Williamson, from the University of Salford’s school of nursing and midwifery, who was involved in the report, said: ‘It is important that e-health is available to as many people as possible.’

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