The NHS has unveiled a package of measures in the battle against coronavirus fake news – working with Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – to help the public get easy access to accurate NHS information and avoid myths and misinformation.
The measures include Google providing easy access to verified NHS guidance when someone searches for coronavirus. As well as helping to promote good advice, the NHS has been fighting bad advice and misinformation about the virus in the media and online, working with Twitter to suspend a false account posing as a hospital and putting out inaccurate information about the number of coronavirus cases; and publicly condemning homeopaths promoting false treatments.
The NHS is also working with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to verify or ‘blue tick’ over 800 accounts belonging to NHS organisations including hospital trusts and local commissioning groups. Following months of work, the NHS and Google will this week introduce new Knowledge Panels – prominent pop out boxes of information – as part of Google search on mobile, to ensure it provides the public in the UK with easy access to NHS information about more than 250 health conditions, including coronavirus. Both Twitter and Facebook are directing users to the NHS website if they search for coronavirus.
The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, has said that everyone in the NHS is passionate about the power of technology to make life better for patients and staff in healthcare and that better technology should be a strategic priority for the NHS.
He has set out the future for technology in the NHS and why, for any NHS organisation wanting to be the best it possibly can be, that rejecting the best possible technology is a mistake.
Hancock stated that tech-sceptics generally fall into 2 categories.
First, the St Augustines. The people who say ‘Lord, let’s fix the tech in the NHS, but just not yet’.
According to this group there are always more pressing priorities. More hospitals to build. More staff to recruit. According to them, tech is a luxury item, a midlife-crisis Ferrari that we don’t need and can’t afford.
Approved digital health and care app and website developers can now integrate NHS login into their products thanks to a new toolkit launched by NHS Digital.
NHS login has been developed to give patients a single swift and secure access to their healthcare information across all approved healthcare apps and platforms, wherever they see the NHS login button. This reduces the need for multiple logins and passwords.
Providers of digital services can now integrate NHS login into their platforms through the self-service toolkit. The toolkit has been developed and tested by NHS Digital working with developers.
Currently seven services currently have NHS login fully enabled – and many more are working towards integration. Services who wish to integrate NHS login into their platforms can use the toolkit to apply for NHS login accreditation.
“Thank you to all of our brilliant NHS staff, particularly those who are working over the Christmas” says Health Chief, Simon Stevens
NHS chief Simon Stevens is today urging people of all ages to consider embarking on a career in the health service next year, as he thanks those current staff who will be working over Christmas. People who apply for nursing, midwifery and some Allied Health Professional degrees by January 15th will be eligible for financial support of up to £8,000 a year if they start their studies in September. Extra support is available for people with childcare responsibilities as well as for mental health nursing.
And the NHS will shortly publish plans to help make the health service the best place to work, in a bid to attract and retain more nurses and other clinical staff. 2020 sees the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and has been designated international Year of the Nurse and Midwife, a worldwide celebration of the huge contribution made by all those who have followed in her footsteps.
The NHS is calling on the public to heed advice and stay at home if they have norovirus to avoid passing it on, as hospitals in England have been forced to close more than 1,100 hospital beds over the last week.
Top medics are concerned about the spread of the winter vomiting bug this year and the impact it is having on hospitals and other services. They are therefore urging those who catch the virus not to go back to work or school until at least 48 hours after symptoms pass, to avoid passing it on to others.
The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) surveillance showed that the number of positive norovirus laboratory reports during the two weeks in the middle of November (11th-24th) was 28% higher than the average for the last five years, and almost double the number of hospital beds have been closed every day over the last week than at the same time last year, in a bid to stop the spread of diarrhoea and vomiting to more patients.