Patrick Keady

Department of Health

 

 

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I received a phone call today from a Company that is undertaking research on behalf of the Department of Health. And they wanted to know what I thought of the Department’s website, www.dh.gov.uk

An interesting question. I am happy with the credibility and content of the website and my main gripe is that some information could be easier to find.

Then I was asked to suggest the sorts of changes that would entice senior people in NHS Organisations to access the website more frequently. My guess is that www.dh.gov.uk could take more of the initiative. With weekly or daily emails, podcasts, text messages and more RSS feeds.

It could include sharing buttons on its webpages so that readers have the opportunity to recommend the pages that they like best – twitter, delicious, stumble and others.

But perhaps the single biggest change that the website could make is to be the ‘click of choice’ to getting information on the NHS. I gave the example of the Annual Health Check, where some information is on www.dh.gov.uk, www.healthcarecommission.org.uk, www.npsa.nhs.uk and on the websites of PCTs and Trusts. In other words, www.dh.gov.uk could enhance the value of the information already on its site by providing links to related information on other websites.

In response to my views on the homepage, I believe that the colours are appropriate, with green meaning health and burgundy representing seniority, the Board if you like.

And in terms of layout, it could ‘borrow’ elements of the style of www.bbc.co.uk which is easy to navigate, uses more colour and changing pictures.

Overall I’m happy with www.dh.gov.uk and I’m delighted that the Department of Health has chosen to incorporate views from it’s website users, before it launches the new upgraded www.dh.gov.uk

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