Departmental Internet

Health written question – answered on 20th November 2008.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Shadow Minister (Women), Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for which Government websites his Department is responsible; how many visitors each received in the last period for which figures are available; and what the cost of maintaining each site was in that period.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department has ownership of two main websites. They are:

1. Department of Health website:

www.dh.gov.uk

2. NHS Choices:

www.nhs.uk

Number of unique visitors: April 2007 to March 2008

Department of Health website: 10,445,831

NHS Choices: 11,766,137

Costs of maintaining these two sites: April 20 07 to March 20 08

Department of Health website: £1.169 million

NHS Choices: £5.13 million

The NHS Choices service, which incorporates the original www.nhs.uk site, was launched in June 2007. NHS Choices is a new service for communicating with citizens and stakeholders in healthcare, health improvement and social care, the public and the media.

The Department has signed a contract with Capita plc to drive forward the NHS Choices service for the next three years. This investment demonstrates the Department of Health's commitment to secure the ongoing delivery and development of NHS/Department of Health digital services to the public. This contract is valued at £60 million-£80 million for the three years.

NHS Choices has increased rapidly since its introduction, with recorded visits in excess of three million for October 2008.

In addition to the two main websites above, the Department currently funds and/or manages a further 99 websites.

The Department is actively engaged in reducing this number of websites, in accordance with the guidelines and timescales set for website rationalisation under Transformational Government. By the end of this project in 2011, all 99 websites will have been closed.

To gather visitor figures and maintenance costs for these 99 would incur disproportionate costs.

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