Editorial policy

Our aim for NHS inform is to provide the best possible information on healthcare, services and campaigns for the people of Scotland.

Our editorial policy outlines how we source, produce and govern this information.

Editorial standards

We produce all of our information to the highest editorial standards, using language that's clear and accessible to all.

Our editors are trained in plain English and use these principles to design content that's free of jargon and unnecessary detail.

We've also developed a health information style guide to ensure consistency of tone, spelling and grammar on NHS inform.


All of the websites linked to from NHS inform have passed our quality assurance process.

We use a range of criteria to decide if a website is suitable for inclusion, including if it's:

  • free to access without a need to login or register
  • relevant to a Scottish audience
  • evidence based
  • updated every 12 months

E-commerce sites, or those dominated by advertising, will automatically fail.


We produce all of our health information from governed sources.

We have agreements in place with providers to ensure our information is maintained and, to the best of our knowledge, reflects changes in healthcare policy and practice.

Original content

We know how important it is to create original content that reflects the healthcare needs of the Scottish population. To help us with this, we work with individuals, groups and organisations from different areas of health and social care policy and practice in Scotland to:

  • identify requirements
  • coordinate information gathering and production
  • provide fact checking and sign-off
  • agree governance arrangements

We have memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreements in place for all content developed by these networks and are working towards being fully self-governed.

Syndicated content (NHS Choices)

NHS Choices (nhs.uk) is the UK's biggest health website, providing health and care information to people in England and Wales.

We syndicate parts of our Health A to Z, on licence, from NHS Choices.

NHS Choices: Governance of NHS Choices content

Database content (National Services Directory)

Our Support Service Directory contains information about support groups and services from Scotland and across the UK - including contact details and descriptions of the services they offer.

We review this information annually (every 12 months) for accuracy and completeness.

Content lifecycle

Our MOU leads review content 3 times over a 2 year (24 month) period.

They check each page for accuracy and completeness against current policy and practice and can suggest any changes or additions.

We routinely audit, evaluate and test our content to identify performance issues and areas for development.

Writers and freelancers

We can't accept unsolicited or speculative requests for work at this time.