HC Deb 23 June 2003 vol 407 cc577-8W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to provide health information over the internet; and what measures are in place to ensure information is accurate and of high quality. [119567]

Mr. Hutton

As part of its modernisation programme for the national health service, the Government have created the NHS Direct Online website (www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk) to provide high quality health advice and information on the internet. It is a complementary service to the NHS Direct 24-hour nurse-led helpline.

NHS Direct Online works closely with clinical professions to ensure that the information it publishes is of the highest quality. NHS Direct Online was recognised as an outstanding example of online health information services at the recent international eHealth Ministerial Conference in Brussels.

NHS Direct Online works in partnership with the national electronic library for health at: www.nelh.nhs.uk which licenses high quality information resources, such as Clinical Evidence and the Cochrane Library, for use by the public as well as NHS staff.

The Government share the view that citizens' needs must be at the centre of attention in the development of high quality health related information services. As part of our response to the Bristol Enquiry, the Government have created a National Knowledge Service—see www.nks.nhs.uk which is developing a co-ordinated approach to information services across the NHS.