Patient.co.uk is certified against The Information Standard and accepts its aims to improve the quality of health related information provided to the public. The Information Standard is a certification programme for all organisations producing evidence-based health and care information for the public. Any organisation achieving The Information Standard has undergone a rigorous assessment to check that the information they produce is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date.
The Patient.co.uk editorial team is responsible for creating accurate and up-to-date condition leaflets and medicine leaflets (aimed at the general public), and clinical articles (aimed at health professionals) all of which reflect reliable research evidence, recognised guidance and best clinical practice. Members of the editorial team must confirm that they have no conflicts of interest in that their creation of content is free from all academic and commercial pressures to promote particular research or products.
All authored content on Patient.co.uk is based on reliable reference material, the main sources of which include:
- National guidance, eg NICE, GAIN and SIGN
- Guidelines produced by a Royal College or a major UK or European professional organisation
- Academic papers, eg Cochrane, BMJ and Lancet reviews
- Guidelines from the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency
- Pharmaceutical publications such as the BNF, Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPCs) and manufacturers' Patient Information Leaflets (PILs)
To keep abreast of new guidelines and reviews, each month the Clinical Editor systematically scans the websites of the main providers of guidelines as mentioned above, plus the MIMs monthly magazine, which includes préces of new guidelines and new drugs that have just been licensed, and GP magazine for news and comment about new clinical developments.
Where there are academic differences of opinion about, for example, the best methods of treating a disease, the authors do their best to reflect all sides of the argument where there is reliable research evidence or recognised clinical practice.
The editorial process includes a clinical peer-review of all authored content which considers accuracy, balance, accessibility and tone; proofreading by a designated member of staff for spelling, typographic or grammatical errors, consistency of terminology, adherence to house style, overall presentation and a final sign-off by the author.
All authored content is routinely reviewed within a 3-5 year period (depending on the nature of the content) although most is reviewed sooner in the light of new or updated guidance, academic papers or user feedback. The last reviewed date is shown on all authored content together with authorship details.
We encourage user feedback on a simple form available from the bottom of every article we publish on our website. All constructive feedback is considered and investigated and, if necessary, the authored content is revised as soon as possible.
The Information Standard
EMIS holds responsibility for the accuracy of the information published and neither the Scheme Operator nor the Scheme Owner has any responsibility whatsoever for costs, losses or direct or indirect damages or costs arising from inaccuracy of information or omissions in information published on the website on behalf of EMIS. The following user-generated information is excluded from the scope of The Information Standard certification: weblogs, forums and personal experience pages.
Last revised 6th January 2015