Editorial Policy

Patient.co.uk has adopted The Information Standard and accepts its aims to improve the quality of health related information provided to the public.

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.

Production

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.

Checks

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.

Review

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.

Feedback

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.

Last revised 10th January 2012