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Patient Information

'Health authorities and service providers should ensure that good quality information is available to patients to look after themselves better, know when and how to seek help, and so that they can play an active role in decisions about their own care' NHS Executive Priorities and Planning Guidance for the NHS 2017-9. London: Department of Health, 1997.

A series of articles were published in the Guardian newspaper in January 2000 highlighting the potential health information pitfalls and rewards that can be obtained from the internet. The full-text articles can be found on the web at The topics covered include finding the information, how to avoid "quacks" and the impact the internet could have on consultations.

Health Information Shops

Help for Health Trust (Winchester)
North Tyneside Coalition of Disabled People

Centre for Health Information Quality (CHiQ)
Launched in November 1997. CHIQ is a national organisation which aims to improve the quality of consumer health information. It provides advice to patients and carers, information providers and producers on products, services, tools and guidelines and raises awareness of good practice through education and training. Maintains a database of published research and current projects in the field of patient information. Searches of their databases can be requested. In partnership with Macmillan Cancer Relief's Information Service it has compiled a "Directory of information materials for people with cancer". This can be found at
E mail:

DISCERN is a tool for judging the quality of written consumer health information on treatment choices. It is the first standardised index of quality in consumer health information.

Doctor Patient Partnership
The UK health education charity working with primary care organisations and the public to make the most of health services and help people manage their health by improving health knowledge and communication.

Help for Health Trust
The Help for Health Trust provides information as part of the Health Information Service and NHS Direct Hampshire; it maintains a large consumer health information library and databases including Help box, which provides details of national self-help groups and references to self-help literature on a wide range of issues.

Health Education Board for Scotland database (HebsWeb)
HebsWeb is the web site for the Health Education Board of Scotland. It provides access to a wide range of consumer health information and resources through a virtual health centre.

Health Promotion Information Centre (HPIC)
HPIC is the national centre for health promotion information and advice in England and part of the Health Education Authority. It includes access to databases covering a variety of health issues and topics in a range of formats. Their databases are available for purchase.

National electronic Library for Health
The Information for Health strategy announced the creation of a National electronic Library for Health. The aims of the NeLH are to:

  • provide easy access to best current knowledge and


  • improve health and healthcare, clinical practice and patient choice.

Web: National electronic Library for Health


BBC: Health information

NHS Direct

NHS Direct

Includes patient information on common conditions.

NHS Health Information Service

NHS Health information Service

A non-profit making organisation fighting fraudulent health claims

Resource Information Service
A source of information on advice and helping agencies in the UK. Details of 12,000 local and national organisations providing advice, information, counselling and practical help to members of the public. Agencies deal with a wide range of issues including benefits, bereavement, care, disability, health, legal, older people, palliative care, transport and mobility' it is available on CD POM and floppy disc. Free demonstration CD available on request.


Self Help
Patient UK

Patient UK designed to direct patients and their families to information about health-related issues.

Self Help UK

Self Help Information
Self help guides developed by Primary Care Leads Lorna Cameron and Lesley Mauder with help from many other members of Trust and primary care staff and service users are now available for use in London.

Current titles are:

Bereavement      Obsessions and Compulsions      Sleep Problems
Controlling Abger   Panic   Stress
Depression (Information leaflet)   Post Traumatic Stress   Stress and Anxiety
Depression and Low Mood   Shyness and Social Phobia    


Download a copy

For further information on the Self Help Guides Contact:

Department of Psychology, St. George's Hospital, Tel 01670 512121 ext 3523.

Student Health

Originally set up for the University of Sussex students. The site is a national resource.

Videos for Patients
Poducers of a video series that gives the essential information on medical conditions. The idea behind the series of videos came to John Cleese when he began to notice something about his consultations with doctors. He found, after he got home, that he couldn't recall everything.....
E mail: