Summary of report content
Young Healthwatch volunteers at Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire decided to undertake a review of health and social care websites using the 15 steps programme methodology. They wanted to assess the accessibility of each website for the user; the navigability of the website and find particular information. They also wanted to find out if the website contained useful advice and information and was well laid out and appealing to all.
They felt that all the websites offering support to young people experiencing mental health issues gave a welcoming experience and were well organised. More importantly they all appeared to be ‘safe’ websites for young people to use. Most websites reviewed appeared to cater well for the cohort of people likely to use them.
They felt that most of the GP and hospital websites they looked at were professional and well laid out with explicit categories and points of information making accessibility easier and less overwhelming for people of all ages. However, there were no welcoming pages or images making visitors feel more comfortable when visiting the site, and as each website was viewed from a young person’s perspective, they realised that there was not a section specifically aimed at young people or an area of the website created solely for that purpose. This could mean that the younger generation may be more hesitant when visiting the website or going to the doctors as it could be less welcoming or comforting.
In contrast, the Covid-19 information was placed very successfully in that it did not alarm people yet did inform them sufficiently about what to do in order to reduce rising cases of Covid-19.