Brighton charity wins kitemark for trusted health information

Posted On 05 Jul 2021 at 12:01 am

A Brighton charity has become one of the first to feature on a new website helping people find trusted health information.

Avert, which provides information and education on HIV and AIDS, is one of 41 organisations nationally to have received a PIF TICK – the quality mark for health information.

Among the others to have been awarded the Patient Information Forum (PIF) kitemark are Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Public Health England.

The PIF TICK public website goes live today (Monday 5 July) to coincide with the start of Health Information Week.

It allows the public to see which organisations have the PIF TICK and offers advice on how to find trusted health information.

Avert’s content editor and project manager Rosie Bernard said: “We became members of the PIF TICK certification programme because it verifies that our health information is of the highest quality, clear and correct.

“Having the PIF TICK quality mark on our content shows users that our editorial processes have been reviewed by an independent body, giving them confidence that what they see is accurate and trustworthy.”

The PIF TICK scheme, which started in May last year to replace the discontinued “Information Standard”, is run by the non-profit Patient Information Forum. PIF TICK director Sophie Randall is based in Saltdean.

The scheme has 41 accredited members, with a further 30 undergoing the assessment process.

PIF chair Sue Farrington said: “Our consumer research shows people want to see a quality mark on health information.

“That is why we started the PIF TICK and that is why we are launching the public website today to make it easier for people to find information they can trust.

“Accurate, accessible, evidence-based information is key to increasing patient empowerment and improving health outcomes.”

To gain the PIF TICK, members must show that they meet 10 key requirements. These include using reliable, up-to-date evidence, clear language and input from patients. Websites should be accessible, easy to use and easy to navigate.

Rosie Bernard

Patient advocate Trishna Bharadia said: “For me, it’s important to have a quality mark like the PIF TICK because there is so much misinformation and fake information out there.

“A quality mark can help to identify information as being trustworthy, reliable and evidence-based.

“Having this information available is crucial for being able to make the right decisions about my healthcare – and having a PIF TICK quality mark would increase my confidence in the information that I’m using.”

Trishna Bharadia

The PIF TICK website is designed to make it easier for the public to find out which organisations have earned the kitemark. It also offers advice on how to find trusted health information, tips on spotting fake information and guides to understanding evidence.

The PIF TICK is the only assessed quality mark for print and online trusted health information in Europe.

The Portuguese presidency of the European Union (EU) has made the establishment of quality marks for trusted information a priority. World Health Organisation consultant João Marecos is working on a case study of the PIF TICK to support this.

To find out more about PIF TICK visit piftick.org.uk.

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