Feeds

BestTreatments.co.uk goes private

Now charging for access to medical info

Website security in corporate America

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.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.