Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Lord Brabazon of Tara Lord Brabazon of Tara Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to ensure that European Health Insurance Card application forms on the official NHS or gov.uk websites appear at the top of internet search engines rather than those websites charging a fee.

Photo of Baroness Manzoor Baroness Manzoor Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Department is aware of a problem with third-party websites presenting themselves as legitimate providers of Government services. The Government has taken robust steps to tackle misleading websites, routinely monitoring unofficial sites and reporting any cases of specious advertisements to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and National Trading Standards (NTS). This helps to ensure that only official European Health Insurance Card application websites appear at the top of Internet search results.

The Government has also set up a webpage to enable members of the public to report misleading websites and lodge a complaint with Google and other search engine providers. Such customer insight forms an important aspect of representations made by Government authorities to the ASA and NTS in the continued effort to tackle misleading websites.

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