Patient - September 2015

Welcome to our final monthly spotlight on an organisation or resource that can help us all in our quest for better health!

The September spotlight's on......Patient 

Read on for all the details and/or download your personal copy here!

What is it?

Patient refers to itself as ‘one of the most trusted medical resources online’ and seems to have many credentials to live up to that claim. It’s owned by the medical IT company ‘EMIS’, who supply information systems to many medical organisations, such as GP practices and who care very much about making sure their product helps practitioners do their job well.  It’s also been nominated for Website of the Year, 2015!


Patient started life as a patient information portal and was invented by 2 doctors who wanted useful information to be available for people to find themselves.  Its content is now put together by an editorial team consisting mainly of UK doctors, supported by and website editors and managers.  The information is both for patients and health professionals, with a dedicated professional reference area and professional blogs


There is information about every possible condition you might come across (we tried and even the most unlikely we could think of was there!) and is regularly reviewed and updated. It is presented in a number of ways, for example, in fact sheets, information pages and a series of videos with Dr Sarah Jarvis. In addition, there are many discussion forums where people can ask and answer questions of each other and share experiences and tips.


The site has comprehensive information about itself and what it provides, including terms of use and how it is funded (no drug companies, but advertising banners, with all revenue going to EMIS to support the site).  Site users can create their own ‘my health’ account, download Apps and use the symptom checker among many other activities related to your health.  The ‘wellbeing’ section covers healthy living as well as responding to what’s in the news about health, including food and medication stories.

How can it help me with living with diabetes?

The diabetes section is extremely comprehensive, and as an independent, medically written site, you can rely on its content.  Its style is very easy to read, so if you’re looking for a new angle or refresher on diabetes, this might be a good place to start. The food section in wellbeing is very helpful, too and of course, you can discuss issues and aspects of your diabetes with others on the discussion forums and hear what others’ think and experience.


One aspect of the site that could also help is the shop, which rather than selling products, acts as a price comparison site, so if you regularly use over the counter medicines, this might be helpful.  It’s worth noting that if you search for products such as ‘blood glucose meter’ (as we did), a range of adverts also comes up as well as the shop’s response to the search term.

How can it help me with working with diabetes?

As diabetes rarely exists on its own, the whole range of medical information both for patients and professionals on this site might be very helpful in keeping you up to date in a very accessible way.  it’s also a site you can pass on with confidence to the people with diabetes you see, if they have information needs

The discussion forums can be very illuminating in showing how people living with diabetes are feeling and the kinds of experiences and concerns they have and are sharing

Finally, as we regularly say here, being a professional doesn’t necessarily mean you might not be in need of medical help yourself, or a reminder about healthy living – it’s very much in vogue now to focus on the health and wellbeing of NHS workers, in particular – so you might find something helpful for yourself or your family and friends here, too!

Our 3 top reasons to give it a try

1.    It’s full of variety, but easy to read and navigate


2.    It’s serious and clear about its intentions and limitations


3.    It’s run and written by UK doctors and other health professionals

Any down sides?

We may not have searched hard enough, but we couldn’t find out if the discussion forums were purely for people to talk to each other or if the moderators/medical authors ever contributed or answered questions.  It wasn’t in the terms of use details and we felt this would be useful to know in case any user thought that they would get a response from a doctor. 

Hope you like our take on Patient, which forms the final instalment of ‘Self Health Spotlight’


All the ‘Spotlights’ and ‘SD Signposts’ itself are both still available. Just follow the links!




More in this category: « Diabetes UK - July 2015
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