First certified members for the social care Information Standard

The first set of 36 organisations that produce health and social care information for the public have become certified members of The Information Standard. They are now entitled to use the newly launched quality mark on their information materials.

The Information Standard is a new certification scheme for the production of health and social care information. Any organisation producing health and/or social care information for the public in England can apply for certification.

It is an independently governed, non-statutory scheme supported by the Department of Health. Certified organisations have demonstrated that they have the necessary methods and systems to ensure that the information they produce is accessible, accurate, appropriately researched, authoritative, clear, complete, readable, relevant, secure, up-to-date and well-designed.

Certified members of The Information Standard can use the quality mark on their information materials as a mark of quality and reassurance for the public.

The organisations that have been certified so far are:

    * Arthritis Care
    * Asthma UK
    * Blood Pressure Association
    * BMJ Group
    * Brain & Spine Foundation
    * Breast Cancer Care
    * British Dietetic Association
    * BUPA
    * Cancer Research UK
    * CancerHelp UK
    * Datapharm
    * Diabetes UK
    * DIPEx
    * Epilepsy Action
    * Macmillan Cancer Support
    * Multiple Sclerosis Society
    * National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
    * National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
    * NHS Doncaster
    * Oxfordshire County Council
    * Patient UK
    * Pennine Acute NHS Trust
    * Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    * Rethink
    * Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
    * Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
    * Sue Ryder Care
    * Terrence Higgins Trust
    * The Carers Resource
    * The Disabled Living Foundation
    * The Prostate Cancer Charity
    * The Royal College of Psychiatrists
    * The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
    * The Royal National Institute for the Blind
    * The Stroke Association
    * Thyroid UK

The Information Standard scheme and subsequent quality mark were devised as a way to drive up standards among information producers, and help the public to recognise and choose reliable sources for their health and social care information.

Angela Coulter PhD, an independent healthcare analyst who advises on the scheme, commented: “These organisations that are now able to display The Information Standard quality mark will immediately be able to differentiate themselves from competitors, as producing high quality information that people can rely upon. These organisations are the first to gain certification and their achievement is an important milestone for the scheme.”

There are more than 50,000 organisations producing health and social care information in England. Any of these can apply to join the scheme and become certified, whether they are a public sector organisation (NHS or local authority), a voluntary sector organisation or a commercial company.

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