NHS Symptom Checker

A good news NHS story for a change. I just noticed that the symptom checker I have included on my clinic site has won an award for innovation (see the story below). Richly deserved, I think; it is a fab service, which is why I included it of course.

Bookmark the Symptom Checker page on the site where you will find several helpful resources including this one. Don’t forget too to look at The Analyst Online  Diagnostic questionnaire service, which is even better as it comes from a naturopathic viewpoint.  You can see my original post about it here.

Both services combined can give you a great headstart if you’re not sure what’s going on. And I’m always here too, of course, but I offer these services because there are only so many bums on a seat I can see!

Here’s the blurb for you about the NHS award:

Innovative Health And Symptom Checkers Recognised For Improving Service For Patients
29 Jan 11
NHS Direct’s online health and symptom checkers were recognised for their innovative approach to improving services at this year’s e-Government awards. 

NHS Direct was awarded the ‘Innovation in strategy on a national level’ accolade at the ceremony on Wednesday 26 January. The award demonstrates how NHS Direct’s health and symptom checkers have improved processes, effectiveness and services to patients within the transformational government agenda. NHS Direct was one of seven finalists shortlisted for the award.

NHS Direct has been developing its award-winning suite of health and symptom checkers over the last year. They are available at http://www.nhs.uk/nhsdirect and cover a wide range of topics including specific conditions such as diarrhoea and vomiting, colds and flu and sexual health matters, as well as more specialist advice on issues such as contraception and mental health. The checkers were used over 700,000 times in December 2010 and, for the first time, overtook the telephone service during the busy two week Christmas period.

The tools work by asking the user a series of questions. Depending on the information provided, users may be offered self-care advice so that they can manage their symptoms at home, or it may suggest that further advice is sought from another health provider. A call back from an NHS Direct nurse advisor is only a click away if a further assessment is recommended. For every 100 people who use the health and symptom checkers online, only four people need a callback.


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