Thursday, 22 July 2010

A NHS Website for all seasons?

There have been a few articles recently including in the main stream press about the cost of Government websites for example here and here.

Given that some of our medical students top up there meagre “income” by designing websites, we have been offered ones for between £50-100 and examples of their work for various organizations including businesses show that a simple easy to use website does not cost too much to have designed for you.

You can even find these “metrics” on you guessed it a Government website.

An article in the GP Magazine this week shows just how good the bright boys and girls are at the Department of Health are. Unfortunately we cannot link to this article but it concerns the fact that during the World Cup the Department of Health spent £ 15,300 on a Facebook “health game” called the “NHS World Cup Football Fan Fitness Challenge.” It also featured on the NHS Choices website and an iPhone application .

You can have a look yourself here. It is called a "tool".

A staggering 12,000 people accessed it which meant it cost £ 1.28 per user the article says. We tried working through it but it is like most things British and sporting you don’t get much further than the first round and then nothing happens.

We have featured this site before and we went back to our post and amazingly all the links still work so if you have any male genital problems check it out for loads of "helpful" medical advice.

The article goes on to say that the Department of Health’s website costs £ 2.9 million a year to support its soporific green tones. Have a look at the inspired design and click any link to see them in their full glory. While you are there, at present, you could even read about Liberating the NHS. Party on dudes!

If we add the two figures you get roughly £ 32 million for 2 websites or £ 16 million per site a year. We asked our colleagues if any of them had a turnover of about a £ 1 million and did some multiplication and think that you could get about 160 whole time equivalent GPs, 160 nurses and healthcare assistants as well as secretaries and reception staff who between them could provide full time GP surgeries and the services offered there to a population of 320,000.

Now if you are ill which would you want to use or see? A doctor, a nurse or a “tool” on a NHS website? Which is most likely to be able to help you?

Praise be to the Party who gave us the phrase a bad workman blames his tools. Based on our experience of NHS IT and websites there are sure to be many good tools in the DoH’s IT department.

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