Content policy

We are deeply committed to maintaining the highest editorial and ethical standards in providing objective and trusted content as well as related services. 

We aim for all our health information to be trusted and reliable, which means it has to be:

  • accurate
  • clear and
  • evidence-informed

This means that all our content is founded on the best available scientific knowledge (where this is available) and written, checked and approved by sufficiently qualified and experienced clinicians.

To make sure that content is relevant, appropriate and of the highest standard, we also always involve users and experts with direct experience of relevant topics in producing our information.

In the following sections we explain how we create our information and set out our key editorial principles and standards.

 

Editorial principles

Our principles in creating information and running the business include:

  • Accuracy: Based on the best available evidence, our content will be accurate, balanced and transparent. We'll make it clear where content is based on opinion or incomplete information.
  • Impartiality: We promise to be objective and impartial when presenting information, clearly stating where significant views differ or there is no clear scientific consensus.
  • Accountability: We're accountable for our content and will deal fairly with feedback and criticism. We encourage user feedback and embrace a culture of learning. We will be transparent in the way we produce, edit and review information.
  • Taste and decency: All our content will be suitable for a general audience within given age ranges. We will not include anything that people may reasonably find offensive.
  • Privacy: We will not disclose any personal information without people's explicit prior consent. For details please refer to our privacy policy.
  • Funding: We are funded through customisation licenses for our apps and by creating 'own-brand' apps for external organisations. Our apps don't carry advertising and we do not accept corporate sponsorship.

 

Editorial standards

We have a core content development team dedicated to creating accurate, balanced and transparent information.

  • Transparency: We will not favour any of our partner organisations. We also ask external team members, contributors and advisers to disclose any relevant financial or other interests that may affect information produced by us (Expert Self Care).
  • Conflicts of interest: Where conflicts of interest exist, we discuss with the team and our advisory board how to manage these.
  • Quality assurance: Our core writers and editors have to be trained in critical appraisal. Overall responsibility for all our content lies with our Clinical Editor (Dr Knut Schroeder).
  • Information Standard: We are certified and follow the editorial principles and standards laid out by the NHS England Information Standard.

 

Editorial process

The editorial process for our apps is iterative and involves several steps that ensure we produce high-quality health information.

  • Research: As far as possible, we base the information on our apps on peer-reviewed scientific research and on the direct experience of clinicians, topic experts, other health professionals, national charities, patients and other relevant groups of people. Our sources include the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) 'Evidence Search' and 'Clinical Knowledge Summaries' as well as trusted journals and databases.
  • Information Production: Once a topic has been researched, it is drafted and edited by a senior member of our editorial team. Using an iterative approach, new content will undergo review by the wider project team and external advisers that check for accuracy, balance, accessibility, tone, relevance and appropriateness.
  • Sign-off: Before our apps are released, they undergo clinical and editorial sign-off by a senior members of the internal and external editorial teams, supplemented by further review and sign-off by outside experts, as appropriate and relevant to the subject matter.
  • Final check: At every stage of the process and prior to publication we check our content for errors, spelling, grammar, adherence to our style guide and overall presentation.
  • Review: We review the content on our apps at least every 2 years and clearly display the dates of the last check and for the next planned review.
  • Content in development: When we test our information with patients and members of the target groups, we make clear to test users that this content is under development and not the final product.

While we will always try to adhere to our editorial standards, the editorial process does not cover opinion pieces and personal blog posts published on our website.

 

Feedback

We welcome comments and feedback on all our content.

  • Feedback and comments: All our apps have a feedback page or button linking to an anonymous feedback questionnaire.
  • Contact: We also encourage feedback by email and other means and provide contact details in our apps.
  • Complaints: We take any complaints seriously and will always deal with these a senior editorial team level.

For comments and feedback on our content policy please email knut.schroeder@expertselfcare.com.

 

Page last reviewed: 14 March 2019

Next review due: 14 March 2021