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Cancer screening programmes web content gets a new home

Website content for health professionals about cancer screening in England is to get a new home. We are moving to the GOV.UK website in the next few weeks.

The move reflects the merger of the national cancer and non-cancer screening programme teams under Public Health England. Non-cancer content is already on GOV.UK, and cancer screening is now following suit. This means that all the information for health professionals about population screening programmes in England will be in one place.

We have already moved our web content for the public onto the NHS Choices website. The change to using NHS Choices and GOV.UK is part of the government’s digital strategy. This aims to reduce the number of government websites so that people find it easier to access good quality information.

We have learned from the experiences of the non-cancer screening programmes to plan these changes. We have been through every page of digital content on our existing website. We have spoken with users and looked at website analytics (usage statistics) to work out how our content was used. We have got rid of content that wasn’t accessed or was no longer valid, and streamlined content where possible. We know that some of our content is old but still in use, so this will be on GOV.UK until we can update it. All this means that there will be less content on GOV.UK than there was on our old website. But our aim is to make the information more relevant and accessible.

Non-cancer screening have already seen positive results from their move to GOV.UK. In July when their content went live, they had 40,000 visits to the new pages. This compares to only 25,000 visits to the old site during the previous month. On the old website, people on average looked at 2.5 pages on each visit, spending nearly 2 minutes browsing. On GOV.UK people look at around 4.2 pages per visit, and spend over 4 minutes browsing. We are hoping for similarly impressive results for cancer screening.

Although the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes website will close down, a copy of it in its entirety will be available on the National Archives. Nothing will vanish completely. The cancer screening intranet sites will also close in due course, but we are working to ensure that all relevant content will transfer to a new home.

What happens next?

The cancer screening content on GOV.UK has already started to go live and will shortly be available from the population screening ‘landing page’. We encourage you to visit the site if you don’t already use it, to familiarise yourself with its look and feel. You will be able to find screening information in various ways, including:

  • using a search engine like Google; GOV.UK results will appear near the top of the results
  • searching on GOV.UK itself; use as precise a search term as possible
  • browsing our screening pages once they are up and running

Bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening education and training materials now have a home on the screening CPD website and more content will be added there in due course.

We will be posting updates about the transition on this blog – you can sign up to get these emailed to you. We will also be tweeting our progress (@PHE_Screening), so make sure you stay tuned for updates.

There’s also a handy video introducing the non-cancer screening programmes on GOV.UK which it would be worth watching if you have 2 minutes to spare, as much of it is also relevant for cancer screening.

PHE Screening blog

The PHE Screening blog provides up to date news from all NHS Screening programmes – replacing our previously published newsletters. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs.

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