Record-breaking number of visits to NHS Direct Wales website

Wednesday, 01 April, 2015


A LEADING health information website designed to help people who are feeling unwell took a record-breaking number of visits during 2014/15.

With surveys by Welsh Government, NHS Direct Wales and Health Boards revealing that the Internet is the second port of call for patients requiring health advice after a doctor, it is important that health information websites are easy to understand, reliable and provide the public with what they want.  This is exactly what the NHS Direct Wales website has done. With 2014/15 figures showing record breaking visits over 4.5 million, an increase of 29% from the previous year, it’s clear that the winning formula of listening and engaging with the public is working.

With users of the website asking for more interactive features and the NHS Direct Wales website team frequently reviewing what the public are searching for, the sitenow delivers a wide range of resources including a skin rash slideshow, self-examination videos and more than 20 symptom checkers including for people who are generally unwell, vomiting, have dental problems or low back pain.

The NHS Direct Wales website, which has been hosted by the Welsh Ambulance Service since 2007, has taken more than 400,000 regular monthly visits since the beginning of 2015.

Leanne Hawker, the Trust’sPartners in Healthcare Lead, the team responsible for capturing patients feedback and developing the website said:"As an engagementteam, we continually listen to our users. The popularity of the website is down to listening and looking at what the people of Wales are asking and searching for and develop resources to meet their needs”. 

“The online symptom checkers empowers the user to check their symptoms at a time that's convenient to them and at no cost. It also encourages them to ‘Choose Well’, by either providing self care advice or informing them as to the most appropriate service they should seek for further advice. This in turn supports the wider NHS and encourages people to Choose Well.”   Other useful information available via the website includes contact details and opening times of NHS services in your area, like dentists, out of hours pharmacies and sexual health clinics with directions of how to get there, local support services and ways to lead a healthier lifestyle. Alternatively, patients can email their enquiry to the Health Information team and receive a personalised response, or call on 0845 46 47.    With the increasing number of users accessing the websiteusing new mobile technology, the NHS Direct Wales website team are not complacent and are already looking at ways to enhance the experience of all its website users and personalising it to suit their needs.    To keep up to date with NHS Direct Wales website developments or to give us your feedback visit the NHS Direct Wales Facebook page: or follow on Twitter @WelshAmbPIH

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