The National Health Service will attempt to establish a coherent face to the public using the Internet, the Department of Health has announced.
Although some GPs, health authorities and trusts have made efforts to communicate with local populations using the Internet, the overall impression was "shambolic", said Alasdair Liddell, director of planning with the Department of Health.
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Internet initiatives within the NHS will now be co-ordinated though the www.nhs.uk URL. The department will provide a hosted service that will be available to all NHS bodies, including GPs. The NHS Web-development tool kit Digirati would also be provided as a part of the initiative.
"The range of this development will be in response to demand," Liddell said. "We want to present the public with a common look and feel to all NHS Internet activities."
The nhs.uk initiative is expected to be up and running by June this year.