NHS England’s published guide on how to create optimal GP practice websites provides best-practice recommendations for practice managers, PCNs, ICSs and GP federations.
Based on user testing, the publication outlines key considerations in a number of areas, from content and navigation through to accessibility. The goal is to support improved patient signposting and satisfaction, as well as a reduction in digital inequalities and access barriers.
If you’re looking to enhance your practice website to these standards quickly, Livi can help. With a websites platform built to NHS Digital Service Manual guidelines, we make it easy.
Take a look at 5 ways we stack up to NHS England guidance. Just some of the reasons why we’re the gold standard for practice websites.
1. Our websites put patient tasks front and centre
As recommended by NHS England guidance, our websites are designed around ‘top tasks.’ This ensures when a patient visits your practice website, they can complete actions quickly and easily. Whether it’s making, changing or cancelling an appointment, ordering a repeat prescription or obtaining fit notes. It’s all just simple.
Rather than merely serving as an informational resource, our websites are action focused to make online tasks effortless for patients. This helps drive online engagement and reduce pressure on practice lines and your team.
2. We make content creation easy
Creating accurate, clear and concise content is ‘critical’ to the usability of practice websites as noted in the guide. However, generating content and keeping it all up-to-date can be a major headache and time drain on practices. And when it involves multiple sites, it can lead to duplication of work and inconsistency.
Here at Livi, our expert team of content designers and writers take care of content creation. We keep pages and content length to a minimum as recommended by guidelines and remove clutter with a philosophy of less is more. Short words, short sentences, sharp subheads and active voice all help to deliver highly usable sites with clear calls to action. Less content also means less maintenance involved, and reduced costs.
Furthermore, with a single unified web platform that can support a PCN, ICS or GP federation, content can be rolled out and made consistent across multiple sites at speed. While we also provide analytics at a practice level to show how content is performing.
3. We reflect NHS look and feel
NHS England recommends utilising a website template that reflects the same visual aesthetic and design standards as NHS websites. How a website looks is essential to instilling patient trust and confidence in services and the NHS ‘look and feel’ is truly the gold standard.
When you choose Livi, you’ll be working with a team that helped craft that standard, with many members of our practice websites team previously with NHS Digital. From the ground up, we employ the same NHS design system, components and navigation, not only reflecting the trusted NHS brand, but also the user experience. This helps to ensure consistency across services, so your patients know they are in the right place.
We’re also mobile first. So instead of redundant content, we prioritise usability and making the actions patients really care about as intuitive as possible. We utilise responsive design so no matter what device a patient is using, your website adjusts to deliver an optimal experience and journey.
4. We’re experts on accessibility and usability
Today, it’s a legal requirement for practice websites to be accessible to WCAG 2.1 AA standard. However, accessibility can be technical and challenging to implement. Thus, NHS England suggests seeking expert support.
Livi can help. We know accessibility is vital to ensuring all users can access your site easily and fairly and our team is highly skilled in ensuring accessibility standards. Furthermore, because our platform is built to NHS Digital Service Manual standards – recommended by NHS England as a key resource on accessibility, it comes ‘built-in’ within the websites we provide to our partners.
That means we won’t bolt-on accessibility tools or overlays like some other suppliers, both of which are prohibited by NHS England within the guide. So for example, if your practice is closed on a particular day and you need to display a temporary closure notification on your site, we utilise components straight from the NHS design system.
We’re a provider who does things the ‘right’ way and can demonstrate usability and accessibility competence to the highest standards.
5. We deliver optimal navigation and site structure
Your homepage and primary navigation is so important. Serving as your shop window or ‘main menu’, it’s the first point of contact that can determine how quickly a patient can find what they’re looking for.
It’s no surprise NHS England research reveals homepages are the first place 80% of patients look to complete a task. First impressions really count. When interacting with your primary navigation, patients will scan for certain keywords or calls to action. Alternatively, they will use search functions to find what they need.
Our websites are structured with this in mind. We deliver clean homepages and utilise visible, simple ‘menu’ headings for popular services patients commonly look for. We also have an easy-to-use search function that helps patients find what they need and complete tasks quickly and easily.
Need support? We can help.
When optimised, your practice website can help manage patient demand and ease administrative burden on your team. Built to NHS guidelines, our websites make that easy.