Public and patient information

WriteCare can help you produce clear, meaningful information for both the general public or specific groups, and for existing patients and service users. It can take time and a great deal of thought to develop the right tone and structure, and to decide on the exact content, so it is relevant and useful to readers. Identifying what your target audience wants (and listening to them) is important. Here are some examples of resources aimed at various groups of public and patients.

Credible online health advice

The challenge – Producing readable information that is firmly based on current evidence

WriteCare works regularly for Bupa’s content team, updating online and print information on specific health conditions, treatments, procedures and tests.

Bupa’s health topic web pages are certified by the Information Standard and comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information, so the content must be reliable and understand (and meet) the audience’s needs. This involves taking on board individual comments and feedback, being aware of general health and wellbeing recommendations and guidance, and assessing the latest evidence.

Writing for Bupa also means following its guidelines on tone of voice and accessible style so content informs and reassures the public, and manages to be open and honest (for instance, on the risk of side-effects or complications) without scaremongering. Every piece of work has to go through an expert review process so accuracy is crucial.

Follow these links to read some examples of online topics written by WriteCare on common conditions like high blood pressure and gallstones and medicines such as antibiotics and antihistamines.

WriteCare has also produced easy-to-follow leaflets on basic healthcare for patients at Bupa clinics to take away. Here are examples on sun protection and surgical procedures.

Preparing for an MS diagnosis

The challenge – To write an online resource for people going through the often lengthy process of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)

The content of this ‘before diagnosis’ guide drew on existing materials but had to be carefully reworked to address the emotional and practical impact of the uncertainties people face while waiting for a definite MS diagnosis. WriteCare did some scoping research with MS Society staff and health professionals, and looked at patient forums to get a feel for what people most wanted to know. The project also involved interviewing individuals who were still going through the process or had not long been diagnosed, and telling their stories in an open and honest way they felt comfortable with. We then amended the draft content following internal and external (user) reviews.

Making cardiomyopathy easier to understand

The challenge – To rethink and revise the content of a specialist health charity’s website and related resources

WriteCare worked with a consultancy specialising in membership organisations to help the Cardiomyopathy Association rebrand itself and become Cardiomyopathy UK. The intention was to make it easier for a wide audience, including parents, carers and families, to understand this heart condition. As well as drafting new text, often based on academic articles and in-depth medical guidance, WriteCare created a more user-friendly structure for the site around key messages and appropriate case studies, and developed a consistent tone of voice and style that could also be applied to future updates.

Here’s a link to the Cardiomyopathy UK website.

Celebrating individual innovation and improvement

The challenge – To produce personal stories highlighting individual contributions to health and wellbeing in the Solihull area

WriteCare was asked to develop online information showing why a range of people and teams had won awards as part of the Solihull Together programme. This involved looking closely at their nomination forms and supporting materials as well as arranging to speak to each winner personally to hear about their experiences first hand. It was important to put things in their own words as much as possible to produce engaging content reflecting the realities of health and care support, and encouraging other people to make a difference.

You can read those stories here.

Explaining Greater Manchester’s new approach

The challenge – To summarise complex developments in a meaningful way

As well as writing and editing complex strategy and policy documents for the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, WriteCare has created materials for local residents that explain these developments in simple and relevant terms. The partnership is a new body that is particularly keen to keep the Greater Manchester public fully informed about changes and the thinking behind them. It was really important for people to get clear, readable information summarising the messages of the partnership’s first annual report and business plan. You can see what WriteCare helped produce here.