A new website to help people find trusted health information has launched today (5 July 2021).
It allows members of the public to see which organisations have the PIF TICK – the UK quality mark for health information – and offers advice on how to find trusted health information.
PIF TICK, which launched in May 2020 to replace the discontinued Information Standard, is run by the non-profit Patient Information Forum (PIF).
PIF TICK members include Macmillan Cancer Support, Bupa UK, Mind and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
The scheme has 41 accredited members with a further 30 undergoing the assessment process.
Accurate, accessible, evidence-based information
PIF chair Sue Farrington said: "Our consumer research shows people want to see a quality mark on health information.
"That is why we started the PIF TICK and that is why we are launching the public website today to make it easier for people to find information they can trust.
"Accurate, accessible, evidence-based information is key to increasing patient empowerment and improving health outcomes."
To gain the PIF TICK members must show they meet 10 key steps, including users are involved in the production of health information, it is evidence-based, and it is easy to use and understand.
Patient advocate Trishna Bharadia said: “For me it’s important to have a quality mark like the PIF TICK because there is so much misinformation and fake information out there.
"A quality mark can help to identify information as being trustworthy, reliable and evidence based.
"Having this information available is crucial for being able to make the right decisions about my healthcare and having a PIF TICK quality mark would increase my confidence in the information that I’m using.”
Health information you can rely on
Tom Bishop, Senior Patient Services and Information Manager at Anthony Nolan said: “There’s so much dubious information out there that we wanted to make it clear that Anthony Nolan’s patient information could be relied upon.
"The PIF TICK gives patients the reassurance they need at a time when they might be feeling bombarded or overwhelmed by health information.”
Dr Knut Schroeder, GP and founder of Expert Self Care, said: “The PIF TICK is really important because information providers need to be able to demonstrate their products are reliable and accurate.
"Information producers also need to know what good information looks like and how to keep the information they provide up to date. The PIF TICK achieves all of this.
"It’s a great scheme for reassuring service providers as well as patients and members of the public that information is clear, accurate and reliable.”
Graham Pembrey, Head of Health Content, UK Clinical, Bupa UK said: “The PIF TICK is such an important way for anyone who needs information about their health to know instantly on seeing that logo that what they’re reading can be trusted.
"That health information might help to make a decision about a treatment they’re considering, or to see a GP about a symptom, or it might help them on an emotional level to understand more about a condition.”
The PIF TICK
The new site is designed to make it easier for members of the public to find out which organisations have the PIF TICK.
It also offers advice on how to find trusted health information, tips on spotting fake information and guides on understanding evidence.
The PIF TICK is the only assessed quality mark for print and online trusted health information in Europe.
The Portuguese Presidency of the EU has made the establishment of quality marks for trusted information a priority.
World Health Organization consultant João Marecos is working on a case study of the PIF TICK to support this.
To find out more about PIF TICK visit piftick.org.uk.