Web First, GP Second For Tech Savvy Generation

The tech savvy generation are heading to the internet as their first port of call when looking for health related information. Looking back on the past 12 months a report has shown the NHS website received over 100 million visits last year.

In a separate study Imperial College found a third of individuals avoided booking a GP appointment following a visit to the site resulting in potential savings of approximately £44 million per year. These savings are only set to increase with the 2010 NHS Choices Annual Report showing there has been a 10% increase in the number of visits to the NHS website in 2010 compared to 2009.

Health Minister Simon Burns said:

“Every day we use technology and the web to organise the way in which we live, and increasingly so when it comes to our health. It is important individuals can find accurate, trusted information from sources such as NHS Choices.

NHS Choices recently topped a Which? investigation into medical websites, saying the site ‘excelled for its breadth of information’ and that the site contained ‘medically robust information’.

Bristol GP Knut Schroeder said:

“Many of my patients now use websites such as NHS Choices to look up health related information, such as symptoms or medical conditions. As a result, they are often better informed and are in a better position to use health services more appropriately.”

The 2010 NHS Choices annual report published today also found:

  • There were on average 200,000 visits a day to NHS Choices;
  • 19 million people turned to NHS Choices to find information on swine flu during the height of the pandemic;
  • Over 40,000 patients posted comments about hospitals and GP practices;
  • NHS Choices partnered with over 170 external organisations which led to 25 million people viewing information on NHS Choices via partner websites.

The internet and the instant availability of information is making our lives easier everyday. Having health related information to hand helps both the patient and doctor, patients are empowered with greater information when visiting their GP which can only ever strengthen this relationship.