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Information Standard coordinator – Deborah Terry

Posted By HMSA Social Media Coordinator, June 1, 2018

Here’s a lovely piece from our Information Standard Coordinator on how you can trust that ours has been carefully verified and can be confidently passed to medical professionals. It’s at the very heart of what we do.

Having a chronic condition, particularly if it runs alongside other medical challenges, we become very good at research. We may be fortunate and have great support networks both online and in face to face groups and we often gain a lot of information in this way. Some of this information that has already helped people within our community; people just like us and our families. What happens then? What if the next step is taking this information to our care provider with the aim of moving forward and identifying what could help with our management. This could be our GP, physiotherapist, consultant or other professional. Taking information to a healthcare professional needs to be done carefully and with thought. It is very common nowadays to be inundated with articles gleaned via ‘Dr Google’ and some can be just anecdotal evidence.

Your medical professional would want to see evidence-based information; particularly if it is an area beyond their scope of practice or something that they have not thought of currently offering. This is where using the charity connected with your condition comes in. At the HMSA, we are accredited by the NHS England’s Information Standard. NHS England supported, and eventually became the overseer of the Information Standard.

It had several aims, including;

• improving the quality of information available to the public,

• to guide organisations in how to produce evidence-based health and social care information

• to show the commitment of those organisations which gain the accreditation in producing good quality health and care information that all should be happy to rely on.


Those organisations that carry the Information Standard go through a rigorous process for each piece of information that they produce and display. The Standard is made up of six principles with underpinning requirements, informed by best practice for producing good quality usable health and social information.

Member organisations have demonstrated, with supporting evidence, how they have met these requirements:

• Information Production – you have a defined and documented process for.producing high quality information

• Evidence Sources – you only use current, relevant and trustworthy evidence sources

• User understanding and involvement – you understand your users and you user-test your information

• End Product – you confirm that your finished information product has been developed following your process and is of good quality

• Feedback – you manage comments/complaints/incidents appropriately

• Review – you review your products and your process on a planned and regular basis (1)


All of our articles and information pieces at HMSA are subject to these principles and carry the Information Standard mark. You can use this information with confidence during appointments, knowing that it has the NHS England’s stamp of approval as good quality information. We are looking for target audience reviewers to help with our user testing. Whether you are at the start of your diagnosis journey, or have a large understanding we have articles that need your input. For further information and to volunteer please contact Deborah Terry, IS Co-ordinator References: (1) 

The information provided by the HMSA should not take the place of advice and guidance from your own health-care providers. Material in this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Be sure to check with your doctor before making any changes in your treatment plan. Articles were last reviewed by our Medical Advisors as being correct and up to date on 5th June 2004.

Please be aware that information posted on the discussion boards is the opinion of the authors and has not necessarily been approved or endorsed by the medical advisors.