What is the Health A-Z?
The Health A-Z is an online database of over 600 health conditions and treatments that will support everyone living in Ireland to be well informed about their health, and that of their loved ones. The Health A-Z has been developed by the HSE's National Clinical Programmes based on content shared by the NHS in the UK. The Health A-Z content is now managed through a partership between the HSE and the Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies.
NHS Choices provides open public access to a wide range of UK health information and services. NHS Choices have generously provided the baseline content used in our Health A-Z without cost to the Irish health service.
Adaptation for Ireland
The HSE and its National Clinical Programmes have worked to adapt the initial information provided by NHS Choices to the Irish context, to our population and to our services. A team of senior Public Health Specialists have edited the information to make it suitable for publication in Ireland, and a wide range of Irish health expert groups have provided their assurance as to its quality. After this broad consultation and information sharing process, the Health A-Z Editorial Board is being established to oversee the development, enhancement and expansion of this resource on an ongoing basis.
The NHS and HSE have developed this resource as a public information initiative, and as such, it is designed to be easy to read and understand. Content is provided in an easy to read writing style, which will be preserved as the resource extends over time. Currently the content is text only, but following initial publication will be enhanced to include images and video content to improve accessibility. View the HSE website general accessibility statement here for more information.
The Health A-Z is intended as a public information resource, and will enable people to make better use of consultations with health professionals. It will also enable health professionals to engage in more shared decision making with their patients. Reliable, accurate information, provided in the Irish context, is a useful resource and through this governance system, every effort will be made to ensure the information is up-to-date and evidence-based.
However, the fast-moving nature of both health conditions and their available treatments means that the content provided on our site should never replace the advice or assessment of a qualified healthcare professional.
The Health A-Z will be governed by a national Editorial Board established by the HSE and the Forum of Irish Post-Graduate Medical Training Bodies. Representation will be invited from the Department of Health; HSE Clinical Programmes and Quality and Patient Safety; Forum of Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies, Nursing Services, Public Health Services, Pharmacy and Patient Representative Groups. The Editorial Board is chaired on an interim basis by Dr. Philip Crowley, National Director, Quality and Patient Safety, and Dr. Aine Carroll, National Director, Clinical Strategy and Programmes. A Health A-Z Clinical Editor will be jointly appointed by the HSE and the Forum during 2013.
Each of the conditions in the Health A-Z has been assigned to an expert group, in most cases, the relevant National Clinical Programme, or where this does not apply, to an associated recognised expert body. These groups provide oversight of the content provided, and are also responsible for directing any ongoing updates or development to their content topics.
Health A-Z Management Team
A dedicated team of clinical and communications staff are responsible for the day-to-day management of the Health A-Z. This involves monitoring any requests for changes or updates, and ensuring these are correct and assigned to a Content Expert or Editorial Board member as appropriate.
Build our Health A-Z
The Health A-Z is intended to act as a public health information resource for everyone living in Ireland and for the health professionals who care for them. Great care has been and will be taken to ensure it is an accurate and reliable source of information. It does not represent every medical condition or treatment, and will be added to on an ongoing basis. We are happy to receive suggestions about including new conditions and any feedback on content to share with our Content Experts.
If you have any comments or suggestions relating to the content on the Health A-Z, please contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org.