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Terms and conditions

Cookies policy

NHS Choices and other services on www.nhs.uk, such as Change4Life, use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on the website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will accept your consent to receive these cookies. However, if you wish to, you can change your browser settings to block or remove cookies at any time. Go to aboutcookies.org for information on how to do this.

Cookies information

Cookies – small information files placed on your device – are used to improve services for you by, for example:

  • enabling the service to recognise your device so you do not need to give the same information repeatedly
  • recognising when you have already given a username and password so that you do not need to do so for every subsequent web page you visit
  • measuring how many people are using the services we provide, so we can make them easier and faster to use
  • analysing data, anonymously, to help us understand how people interact with government services

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your computer, mobile phone or whatever device you are using to access the internet. This information is held in cookies. You can learn more about cookies from the GOV.UK guidance on cookies.

Cookies cannot be used to identify you personally.

For more information about how to remove cookies from your device, or how to block individual cookies from being received, please see the instructions and guidance at www.aboutcookies.org.

See below for further details about cookies you may encounter while visiting the NHS Choices website and associated services such as Change4Life. These details include what information is being held, how long you can expect it to be stored, and how your experience of our website will change if you block individual cookies from being sent to your device.

 

Main cookies in detail

The following are cookies you may come across on the NHS Choices website and associated services such as Change4Life; references below to NHS Choices may include associated services.

NHS

Name: _ga
Domains: nhs.uk, google.com
Lifespan: Up to 2 years
Purpose: NHS Choices uses Google Analytics cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the service
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what pages or features are popular
  • which interactive tools are used

The information gathered is not shared with any third party.

Additionally, we use a Google Translate API cookie to store your translation preferences for a specific page should you choose to use the translation service on NHS Choices.

For more information read Google’s privacy policy.

Name: PREF
Domain: google.com
Lifespan: Two years
Purpose: NHS Choices uses Google Analytics cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the service
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what pages or features are popular
  • which interactive tools are used

The information gathered is not shared with any third party.

Names: cookie, ASP.NET_SessionID
Domain: nhs.uk
Lifespan: Session
Purpose: This cookie is set to ensure the user does not have any disruption to their user experience while accessing NHS Choices or Change4Life. This cookie holds no personal information, it helps us provide our users with an uninterrupted journey through the website.

Name: WT_FPC
Domain: nhs.uk
Lifespan: Up to six months
Purpose: A cookie is required for NHS Choices to provide persistent personalised content to its users. To enable this, a user can create an account where data is captured. A preference centre is provided where users can select the topics of interest to them. Personalisation accounts are used to provide the registration ability in a number of campaigns.

Name: FeedbackLine (1)
Domain: nhs.uk
Lifespan: Up to one month
Purpose: This cookie is required for NHS Choices to ensure that a pop-up for any current campaign relating to the NHS Choices website is suppressed for a user who has previously seen it.

Name: Dassignup.dismiss
Domain: nhs.uk
Lifespan: Approximately three years
Purpose: On pages that offer sign-up to the Information Service for Parents, if a user selects not to display the "Sign up for free pregnancy and baby emails" pop-up after their first visit, this cookie is used to stop the pop-up being displayed to the user again.

Change4Life Fun Generator

Name: CAKEPHP, _utma, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz
Domain: fungenerator.change4life.co.uk
Lifespan: Session
Purpose: Used to detemine if cookies can be used. The cookie does not gather any personal information about you.

Smokefree

Name: _utma
Domain: smokefree.nhs.uk
Lifespan: Up to six months
Purpose: Smokefree captures analytics information about your visit to enhance the design of the site, for example how you entered the site, how you navigated through the site and what information you looked at. The cookie does not gather any personal information about you.

Details of third party cookies

The following are third party cookies you may come across on the NHS Choices website and associated services such as Change4Life; references below to NHS Choices may include associated services.

DoubleClick (Google)

Name: id
Domain: *.doubleclick.net
Lifespan: Up to six months
Purpose: Ad server tags from DoubleClick are used to understand how people engage with government digital media campaigns. This functionality allows NHS Choices to track clicks on adverts, such as the "sponsored links" found when you search for a subject on Google. These cookies are in use on Smokefree and Change4Life.

Facebook

Name: datr
Domain: facebook.com
Lifespan: Indefinite
Purpose: Used for Facebook integration within the Change4Life Fun Generator. For more details see the Facebook privacy policy.

GroupM

Name: NSC_fo1efm_qppm_iuuq
Domain: uk.gmads.net
Lifespan: Session
Purpose: The Change4Life campaign uses a GroupM analytics cookie to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the site
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what is popular
  • which interactive tools are used

Health Harms

Name: Health Harms
Domain: https://quitnow.smokefree.nhs.uk/
Lifespan: Up to two years
Purpose: This site is hosted by our partner Data Lateral. Please see Data Lateral’s privacy policy for the cookies used on its site.

Map of Medicine

Name: _utma
Domain: healthguides.mapofmedicine.com
Lifespan: Up to six months
Purpose: A cookie is used to record whether or not the terms of use have been accepted for the Map of Medicine. By disabling this cookie you may not be able to use some or all of the functionality of this part of NHS Choices.

MIG

Name: id, mdata, OAX, NSC_fo1efm_qppm_iuuq, NSC_xxx_qppm_iuuq
Domain: *.mookie1.com, b3-uk.mookie1.com
Lifespan: Session, and up to 13 months
Purpose: The Smokefree and Change4Life campaigns use MIG analytics cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the site
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what is popular
  • which interactive tools are used

Quantcast

Name: d, qoo
Domain: quantserve.com
Lifespan: Permanent (one year)
Purpose: The Change4Life campaign uses these cookies to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated through the site. This data enables the Department of Health to improve future campaigns by understanding:

  • which pages people visit on the site
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what is popular
  • which interactive tools are used

Please see the Quantcast privacy policy for more information, and to learn how to opt out of this tracking.

Moxie Software

Name: _utma
Domain: moxiesoft.com

Lifespan: Up to six months
Purpose: This cookie is on the Carers Direct webchat. It is used to help recognise returning visitors to webchat. This remains on your computer and stores the date and time you last used the service. It does not gather any personal information about you.

TubeMogul, Brightcove

Name: _tmid
Domain: tubemogul.com; brightcove.com; llnwd.net
Lifespan: Session
Purpose: Videos viewed on NHS Choices are hosted and supplied (streamed) to users by a third party company named Brightcove. A product called TubeMogul is used by Brightcove to record how much of a video is watched. It uses an anonymous tracking cookie and stores no personal data. For more information, see the Brightcove privacy policy and the TubeMogul privacy policy.

Webtrends

Name: ACOOKIE, WT_FPC
Domain: *.webtrendslive.com, nhs.uk
Lifespan: Up to two years
Purpose: NHS Choices uses a variety of providers for analytics, including Webtrends, to record information about which pages you have landed on and how you have navigated. This data enables us to understand:

  • which pages people visit on the site
  • which internet browsers are being used
  • what pages or features are popular
  • which interactive tools are used

Information captured: IP address is recorded if a user enters their postcode and date of birth.

For more information read the Webtrends privacy policy.

Health and symptom checker cookies

We use the following cookies in our health and symptom checkers to remember the answers you give about your symptoms and your age, gender and location:

Name: ASP.NET_SessionId
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: used for maintaining a user's session

Name: website#lang
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: states that the page is in the English language

Name: cp_session
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose:
for webchat - stores specific user data including session ID, answers viewed, number of searches, previously viewed answers, previous searches and previously seen email

Name: cp_profile
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webcat - user profile token to identify the user

Name: cp_login_start
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - a temporary cookie to check if cookies are enabled

Name: oauth_token
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - used as authentication token when users use oauth login

Name: rnw_ma_login
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - identifies users who have previously filled out a marketing form so that the next form can be pre-filled with known information

Name: rnw_enduser_login
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - needed for some site logins

Name: rnw_survey_login
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - keeps track of the last page that a user has submitted in a survey

Name: noChat
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - to control whether a user should receive a webchat invitation

Name: CHAT_SESSION_ID
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - allows reconnection to the current chat session in the event of a system/browser crash

Name: JSESSIONID
Lifespan: expires when the browser is closed
Purpose: for webchat - maintains ongoing session with the chat cloud

 

Page last reviewed: 24/03/2014

Next review due: 24/03/2016