Making the most of the NHS website

Thanks to the NHS website, it’s easy for people around the UK to find out about local services – including nearby pharmacies, accident and emergency wards and doctor’s surgeries. But there’s much more to be had from the site than these handy tools.

Browse and you’ll discover a wide range of websites, with a huge amount of educational health information up for grabs. So whether you want to learn more about types of cancer or you simply want to keep track of your fruit and vegetable intake, there’s a lot to learn.

Finding NHS health information online

At an everyday level, the most useful NHS portal is Live Well. There’s a range of articles on general health here, including a health and weight chart, information on the flu vaccine, sexual health advice and remedies for flatulence. Usefully, the menu bar on the right hand side is divided into gender and age specific sections. So whether you’re a teenage boy or a woman aged over 60, you’ll find health advice that’s right for you.

For more detailed information on particular conditions and diseases, the NHS Health A-Z is indispensable. Take their section on diabetes, for instance: here, you’ll find material on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, including their symptoms, causes and treatments. There are also details of gestational diabetes – so if you, or a loved one, has developed diabetes during pregnancy, you can find out more about the condition online.

Their chapter on cancer is also a particularly useful resource for anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease, or for their family and friends who simply want to find out more. There are around 50 different types of cancer covered on, from relatively well known variations like breast and lung cancer, to nose cancer and vulval cancer. There’s also information on chemotherapy, radiotherapy and how to get a predictive genetic test for cancer risk genes.

Elsewhere, the NHS’ heart health advice is very useful, especially for men and women aged over 50. Here, you’ll find details about heart disease and blood pressure, as well as tips for a heart healthy diet and stories from people – sometimes celebrities – about how heart disease has affected their life.

Handy NHS website tools is an enormous resource and you could spend days reading its reams of well-presented and accessible information. However, there are plenty of quick-fix tools to use here too. If you’re thinking about quitting smoking, for instance, there are applications that help you identify whether you’re addicted to cigarettes and how much money you’ll save if you quit. You can also use their online symptom checker to try to establish what your illness might be – but remember that this isn’t always accurate and you should see a doctor in person as well.

If you’re concerned about your weight, the NHS’ online BMI calculator can give you an indication of whether you’re underweight, overweight or just right. However, you’ll need to enter your correct height and weight measurements for the result to be accurate. And their five-a-day meal planner makes it simpler to keep track of your fruit and vegetable intake, so you’ll know when you’re falling short.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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20th Apr 2017
Thanks for voting!
I would be quite happy to go back to the days before the NHS, yes pre 1948 when we queued up in the doctor's surgery to see our GP but see him we did on the day of our need. Now we ring up and if we are lucky see our doctor days later. My GP even came out during the night to see me in 1943 when I was seriously ill. That cost my family three pence a week.

THe town where I live had one ambulance, parked in the fire station yard and taken out when required by firemen, now called firefighters.

The service today is rubbish and serves those who administer it not the general public. In 1947 I remember my doctor predicting how it would all go downhill when the NHS took control and how right he was.

His name for the record was Manik Ghosh, an Indian gentleman, twice qualified before he was allowed to practice in this country and dedicated to his profession unlike many of the current lot, but not all, who are in it for the money?
little owl
13th Aug 2015
Thanks for voting!
Everyday in the news we hear about how the hospitals and ambulances are not reaching targets but never do they comment on the hurdles they have to jump. Last week I spent 5 hours in A & E with my husband and the only way it could have been improved was more staff. In the Redcar and district area they designate 2 ambulances for emergencies up until midnight and 1 afterwas which is ridiculous. As with other areas it could be 1 or 10 needed guess work is no use. To take 4 hours before somebody is in serious pain is seen by a doctor can only be improved by more doctors which I think is common sense. The NHS is spending £ thousands on Manager and NHS England who do things like count how many patients get treated on time or whether Doctors, police and social workers are acting correctly when all the money spent on the, could be spent on front line staff who are badly needed. GPS need to provide a call out system again so stupid injuries or worries do not end up in A & E. When we were in A & E there was my husband and 1 other lady of 93 waiting nit as is said blocking access to the doctors the blockers were much younger and in particular drunks and foreign families where it seems the whole family needs to be there rather than one or two carers or parents. It was absolute pandemonium and the staff were helpless to improve the situation. After 6 1/2 years we are at last getting somewhere after years of more and more gall stones being removed after the gall bladder and nothing else looked at. We are at our wits end but still see what the NHS are battling without the finds to do do.
little owl
25th Feb 2015
Thanks for voting!
Hi, is there a place where we can start a discussion and in the year of a very important election do people not wish to discuss politics. I wished to discuss the recent development of Greater Manchester managing there own NHS! I feel if an amount of money can be settled for one area it can be settled for the whole country so everybody receives a fair bite of the cherry. This is yet another change in the NHS which is no longer National.

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