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Sharing good quality information

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Albert Einstein once said, “I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it”.

This is certainly true for people providing peer support. You’re not expected to know ‘everything’, or even ‘something’ about all the different health conditions and services. What matters is that you can recognise and sign post to good quality information.

With the growth of the internet and social media, we all have access to a wealth of information. With so much available, it can be hard to know which sources to trust.

Top tips to help you judge quality

  • Consider who wrote the information. Charity and government sites are less likely to be biased but companies may be trying to sell you something. You can usually find out more by following links to ‘about us’
  • The page should list the authors name, their qualification to write about the topic, what the evidence is to back up what they say and the source of the evidence.
  • You should be able to find when the information was updated or published. Medical recommendations and treatment options can change over time so it’s important to know you’re getting the latest information.
  • Look at the website address. Government websites end in gov.uk; charity and non-profit websites often end in .org.uk

Good sources of information

  • GP/Consultant
  • Patient Information Leaflets
  • The NHS website
  • Charities Associated with a Health Condition
  • NICE resources
  • NHS Digital Approved Apps. Apps can help you manage your condition including tracking your symptoms.
  • Professional helplines
  • Medical journals can be useful if you have a rare condition or want to learn more about a new treatment. One example is PubMed

When it comes to good quality information about personalised care, you may want to signpost to this course. You may also want to signpost to the personalised care section on the NHS England website.

This article is from the free online

Personalised Care: Peer Leadership Foundation - Step Two

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