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£86m a year "wasted on NHS websites"

Public Technology, the public sector news site, claims to have obtained a leaked copy of the NHS Digital Communications Review, which says that of the 4,121 websites run by the NHS approximately a third suffer from at least one “notable defect”, while 1,000 are no longer accessible. The site goes into claim that “the health service spends £86m a year on thousands of unhelpful websites”.

The study, which was carried out by communications agency Precedent, apparently found that local GPs fared worst, with 60% of the 671 in operation apparently having problems.

The problems were mainly blamed on the fact that there is “little in the way of central mechanisms to track the costs and usage of all NHS websites”, whereas the public would like to see “one NHS” coordinating proceedings.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "We know that information is the key to patient choice and control as well as better outcomes for patients. The government intends to bring about an NHS information revolution to give people access to comprehensive, trustworthy and easy to understand information from a range of sources on conditions, treatments, lifestyle choices and how to look after their own and their family’s health."