In August 2018, NHS England announced The Information Standard kite mark, membership and assessment scheme was to cease.

PIF consulted widely with its members and there was overwhelming support for an easily recognisable kitemark to acknowledge information is evidence-based, accurate and up to date. 

A steering committee of PIF member organisations has drafted the criteria information producers must meet to achieve the quality mark. The criteria endorse the quality standards identified by NHS England but place a greater emphasis on meeting the health literacy needs of the population. The pilot will test the practicality of the draft criteria and the validation process. 

Anthony NolanBreast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer NowBupa UKCancer Research UKMindThe Royal College of Anaesthetists and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are some of the organisations taking part in the pilot, which will start in September. The Patients Association is supporting PIF with this important work. 

We are grateful to Bupa UK, who are providing funding to allow the pilot project to go ahead.

“PIF’s quality mark will allow the public to recognise high-quality, reliable health information.” said PIF’s Chair, Sue Farrington. “The scheme will endorse the expertise of our members in the NHS, health charities and the private sector. It will reward the commitment they make to producing trustworthy information the public can use to make informed decisions about their health. PIF is very grateful for the funding provided by Bupa UK and to the cross-sector organisations that have agreed to be pilot sites.”

Rachel Power – Chief Executive, The Patients Association said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting PIF in the development of a new quality mark that will help people recognise reliable and accurate information online.

We know that many people access information about health and social care online, but that much of it is misleading and it can be difficult to separate out the facts.

There’s no doubt that a new kitemark indicating that information is trustworthy will help people searching for content online, and we’re looking forward to supporting PIF in this important work.”

Tom Bishop – Senior Patient Services and Information Manager, Anthony Nolan said:
“Giving people incorrect health information can be as dangerous as prescribing the wrong drugs. We welcome PIF’s Quality Mark pilot project to reassure the public that the health information they are reading is accurate and reliable, based on thorough research and developed with significant input from its target audience.”

Dr Emma Pennery –  Clinical Director at Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now, said:
“Expert, trustworthy and accessible information is vital to help breast cancer patients understand their diagnosis and make informed decisions about their treatment and care. We also know that providing clear, reliable information is crucial in supporting more women to take steps to lower their risk of the disease and check their breasts regularly for any unusual changes to help detect any cancers as soon as possible.”

Nick Ridgman – Head of Health Content, Bupa UK said:
“We are proud to be supporting PIF in their development of a health information quality mark. We believe they are well placed to set and drive national standards collaboratively and to help people identify trustworthy health information. We are committed to meeting the highest quality standards in the production of our own content and look forward to participating in the pilot scheme for the quality mark.”

The pilot will run for six months from September 2019. During the pilot scheme market research with patients and the public will help identify an easily recognisable quality mark for the scheme.

About the pilot organisations
PIF approached a range of nationally respected organisations to pilot the Quality Mark scheme – all make a public commitment to provide trustworthy health information.

Anthony Nolan is dedicated to saving the lives of people with blood cancer.

Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now have merged to form the UK’s first comprehensive Breast Cancer Charity.

Bupa UK is one of the UK’sleading healthcare specialists and providers of patient information.

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust are dedicated to providing high quality and personal care. As part of KIng's Health Partners, they are pioneers in health research, and provide high quality teaching and education.

Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

Macmillan provide physical, financial and emotional support to help cancer patients live life as fully as they can.

Multiple System Atrophy Trust is the UK’s leading charity supporting people affected by multiple system atrophy.

The Patients Association is an independent patient charity campaigning for improvements in health and social care for patients.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body for Anaesthetists, the largest hospital specialty in the NHS.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides healthcare for the residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset and part of the New Forest with a total population of 550,000.

Talk Health is one of the leading online health communities providing free information and support to those with chronic health conditions, whilst collaborating with healthcare professionals and charities to develop sustainable health programmes and solutions.

Follow the hashtag  #PIFQualityMark to keep up to date with this project.