Feeds

BestTreatments.co.uk goes private

Now charging for access to medical info

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.