While helping out on our stand at the Alzheimer’s Show in London, I was struck by the popularity of our dementia information booklets. As fast as we replenished the stocks, they were disappearing. Lots of visitors commented on how useful they were, and how well-produced. This was music to my ears, as I have recently taken on responsibility for the production and updating process. It was good to hear that we already have a well-respected product; I just need to make sure that these high standards are maintained!
People looking for health information need to know that it is accurate and backed up by sound research evidence. We are very proud to be certified by the Information Standard, an independent quality mark commissioned by NHS England. When you see the Information Standard logo on our booklets and associated webpages, you can be sure that they have been produced to the highest standards. This means you can have confidence in what you are reading and feel empowered to make the right choices.
I had to get up-to-speed on our production system very quickly; within two months of me joining Alzheimer’s Research UK, we were due to be assessed by an inspector from the Information Standard, to see if our systems were still up to scratch. This was quite a baptism of fire! I spent the whole day with the inspector, going through her checklist and finding evidence to show that we met each of the requirements. I was delighted when we passed our assessment; it was a real tribute to everyone involved, especially my predecessor, who had set up and maintained such an amazing production system
So what does it take to produce high-quality health information?
We greatly value the input of both scientific experts and people with experience of dementia; both groups are consulted during the process.
The experts check the scientific and medical content of our information, to make sure we are basing it on the most up-to-date practice and guidelines. If we decide to produce a new leaflet, it may arise from comments or requests made by people who contact us. We also ask people with experience of dementia to comment on content and coverage – the topics included, the amount of information, whether it is easy to understand and so on. All of our information products are updated every two years.
If you haven’t yet discovered our information resources, take a look . Let us know if you have suggestions for additional titles. You could also help us by reviewing our information. Either way, please do get in touch – send an email to Claire Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org.