Feeds

BestTreatments.co.uk goes private

Now charging for access to medical info

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The website recommended by nhs.uk is no longer free at point of delivery.

BestTreatments, a website for patients linked to extensively by the NHS's core site, has imposed charges following the end of government funding.

BestTreatments.co.uk, which is run by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), is charging users £14.99 plus VAT for annual access to the whole site, £9.99 plus VAT for a month's access, or £3 plus VAT for a month's access to pages on a single condition, operation or test.

Its pages currently appear prominently in search results produced by the central nhs.uk website, which is run by Connecting for Health (CfH) using Google's search technology. BestTreatments pages appear first on searches for "smoking" and "AIDS", in both cases as highlighted "suggested links" which are chosen by CfH, and second on searches for "asthma" and "cancer".

CfH did not provide an immediate response as to whether it would change this.

The BMJ said it was forced to end free access to the site, which it said has received nearly 1 million page views each month.

"We are very disappointed by this situation," said its editor Cherrill Hicks. "The government recognises that people need high quality health information to help them feel more in control and enable them to make informed decisions with their doctor.

"The Department of Health (DoH) should be prepared to pay for people to have access to such information. Instead, through the information prescription scheme, they are relying on voluntary organisations to provide information that cannot claim the same level of rigour as BMJ BestTreatments."

The DoH turned down the BMJ's application for continued funding earlier this year.

"It didn't have a far enough reach and was duplicating information that was available in other places," said a spokesperson.

The department announced the "information prescription" scheme on 27 March, under which patients in pilot areas will be provided with addresses of relevant websites, telephone support lines and groups for their conditions.

A sister site for medical professionals, ClinicalEvidence.com – whose pages also appear within nhs.uk searches, although not as prominently – has also ended free access, with the BMJ imposing an annual charge of £129, although discounts apply for British Medical Association members, nurses, and students.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.