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Terms and conditions

1 Introduction

1.1

The Department of Health and Social Care owns the NHS website. The content, data and services on the NHS website are delivered by NHS Digital. You may access and use this website if you agree to be legally bound by the terms set out here. If you do not agree to be legally bound by these terms, please do not access and/or use the NHS website.

1.2

Terms for access to and use of the patient feedback facility under which you can review, or comment on, individual NHS services, such as GPs or hospitals, or comment on articles, are set out in sections 7 to 10 below. If you agree to be legally bound by the terms you may use the comments facility. If you do not agree to be legally bound by these terms, please do not use the facility to post comments.

1.3

The NHS website is intended for use only by people who live in England. References to "the NHS" mean "the NHS in England" unless otherwise stated. Service descriptions, entitlements and costs refer to services in England and arrangements may differ elsewhere in the UK.

2 Changes to terms

2.1

We may make changes to the NHS website, including these terms, at any time. You will be legally bound by the updated or amended terms from the first time that you use the NHS website after we publish the changes on it.

3 Intellectual property rights

3.1

The Department of Health and Social Care own or have the right to use all intellectual property rights in the contents of the NHS website or used for the provision of the NHS website (“NHS Website Content”). This includes rights in copyright, patents, database rights, trademarks and other intellectual property rights.

3.2

You have permission to use NHS Website Content for the sole purposes described, and on the terms detailed, in these terms and conditions. You need written permission from us or any other owner of NHS Website Content before you may use these items in any other way.

3.3

Copyright and database rights in NHS Website Content are released free-of-charge under the current version of the Open Government Licence (“OGL”), except where specified, either in these terms and conditions, elsewhere on this website or in the OGL terms. If there is any conflict between the OGL terms and these terms and conditions these terms and conditions shall take precedence.

3.4

This means that you can use NHS Website Content, including copying it, adapting it, and using it for any purpose, including commercially, provided you follow these terms and conditions and the terms of the OGL.

3.5

The OGL terms do not apply to the following categories of NHS Website Content, and therefore these must not be used without our or the relevant owner’s prior consent:

  • any logos, visuals, image rights, trademarks, trade names and design styles (except where these are integral to a document or data set) of the NHS website, or any predecessor or linked body, as well as of any partner or contributor;
  • any other intellectual property rights, including but not limited to patents, design rights and trademarks;
  • personal data (which will include but not be limited to images, videos and audio with identifiable people in them);
  • information owned by third parties which we are not authorised to licence on to you. This includes everything itemised on our content not covered by our standard terms and conditions page, although we cannot guarantee that this list includes all information owned by third parties. Many images on the NHS Website are included as these are licensed by stock sites. If in doubt, contact us using the details below (14.3).

3.6

(a) If you:

i. copy and reuse NHS Website Content but do not make any changes or adaptions; AND

ii. refresh your copy of the NHS Website Content:

then you must attribute us as follows: “Information from the NHS website”, unless you have our written consent to an alternative attribution. The relevant attribution must be made for every separate instance, use or appearance of NHS Website Content, and in each case you must make a clear distinction between NHS Website Content and your other content.

If you are displaying NHS Website Content in a context where a functional link back to the article on the NHS Website is possible, then each attribution should link to the page on the NHS Website that the relevant NHS Website Content has been supplied from.

You must additionally publish, in a prominent and noticeable location within your site or service the statement that “Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0” and, where possible, include a link to the Open Government Licence.

(b) If you:

i. change or adapt NHS Website Content as part of your reuse or publication; OR

ii. do not refresh your copy of the NHS Website Content:

you must include the standard attribution “Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.” set out in the OGL and, where possible, include a link to the publication of the Open Government Licence. You must not attribute the content to the NHS website or cite the NHS specifically as the source of the adapted or non-refreshed content.

The following is a (non-exhaustive) list of examples of changes to content that constitute adaptations:

  • Any change to wording that serves to change its meaning or impact;
  • Taking wording out of a context that is important to its meaning;
  • Translation into another language.

Any adaptation of NHS Website Content or use of non-refreshed NHS Website Content may invalidate its formal clinical approval; therefore if you use any such NHS Website Content you will bear any risk associated with such adaptation or failure to refresh.

3.7

We recommend you refresh your copy of the NHS Website Content every 24 hours to ensure you have the most up-to-date version. In the case of the subset of NHS Website Content specified on our content not covered by our standard terms and conditions page as requiring an update frequency greater than once every 24 hours, that specific requirement takes precedence over this general recommendation.

3.8

You must not use NHS Website Content for or in association with i) any purpose; or ii) a site or service; which is illegal, derogatory or otherwise objectionable or that brings the NHS into disrepute. If you process any personal data of your customers or users in association with your use of any NHS Website Content you must do so in compliance with all applicable data protection and privacy legislation and all relevant regulatory guidance, including General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

3.9

If you provide any paid-for service to your customers or users access to the NHS Website Content may be included within the standard purchase and set-up costs but no specific charge may be levied on any customers or users for access to any NHS Website Content.

3.10

You may not directly or indirectly suggest any endorsement or approval by the NHS of your site or service, or any non-NHS entity, product or content or any views expressed within your site or service.

3.11

We reserve the right to alter, adapt, edit, modify or restrict the availability of NHS Website Content for use on third-party sites at any time.

4 Medical information

4.1

The NHS website provides medical information for use as information or for educational purposes. We do not warrant that information we provide will meet your health or medical requirements. It is up to you to contact a health professional if you are concerned about your health.

4.2

The NHS website does not give medical advice in relation to any individual case or patient, nor does The NHS website provide medical or diagnostic services.

4.3

If you are a medical or health professional then you are encouraged to use the NHS website for general information purposes. However, you should not rely on material included on the NHS website and we do not accept any responsibility if you do.

5 Third-party websites

5.1

We do not monitor the content of third-party websites or third-party applications. Any link provided on NHS.UK is solely for your convenience. We do not accept any responsibility for any third-party website or third-party applications.

5.2

Where we provide links to third-party websites, that does not imply any association with or recommendation for those websites. See our external links policy.

5.3

Where we provide links to third-party applications, that does not imply any association with or recommendation for those applications. See our external links policy.

6 Liability

6.1

We accept no liability to you should the NHS website not be available at any particular time.

6.2

We do not accept any liability to you for any of the following types of loss or damage (which you may suffer as a result of your use of the NHS website) whether the losses were foreseen, foreseeable, unforeseen, unforeseeable, known, unknown or otherwise:

(a) loss which arose when you first accessed or registered to use the NHS website, or any of our linked sites and services, (even if that loss results from our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence);

(b) any business loss you may suffer, including loss of revenue, loss of profits or loss of anticipated savings (whether those losses are the direct or indirect result of our default);

(c) loss which you suffer other than as a result of our failure to comply with these terms or our negligence or breach of statutory duty;

(d) any loss suffered due to the default of any party other than us.

6.3

We do not warrant that the NHS website or any content will be available uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that NHS.UK or its supporting systems are free of viruses or bugs.

6.4

We do not accept any liability to you if we fail, or are interrupted or delayed in the performance of any obligation because of:

(a) the non-availability or failure of any telecommunications or computer services, systems, equipment or software operated or provided by you or any third party;

(b) any other event not reasonably within our control.

6.5

We do not give any commitments or accept any liability to you in respect of NHS.UK content provided by other users of the website or third parties.

6.6

Terms set out here should be read in conjunction with our external links policy. You acknowledge and agree that we will not be responsible for any injury, loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of, or relating to the misuse of, or inappropriate reliance on the contents or advice provided via an external link on this website, except to the extent that such liability cannot be limited or excluded by law.

7 Registration to post comments

7.1

To post comments on NHS.UK pages you must provide a valid email address and any other information we request.

7.2

Terms set out here and at sections 8, 9, and 10 should be read in conjunction with our comments policy.

8 Posting comments

8.1

Postings you make to the NHS website shall not be treated as confidential.

8.2

You are legally responsible for the content of any material you submit for posting on NHS.UK.

8.3

The Department of Health and Social Care shall own intellectual property rights in any material posted on NHS.UK.

9 Editorial control of comments

9.1

We reserve the right (on behalf of ourselves and any moderator that we may appoint) to:

(a) temporarily or permanently suspend your access to our comments facilities;

(b) edit, not put on the website, or delete any posts you submit; or

(c) take any other action against your registration if, in our view, you have not complied with the rules of conduct set out below.

10 Online conduct

10.1

If you are under 16 you should seek your parent's or guardian's consent before you submit a comment.

10.2

Comments posted should relate to your personal experience or that of someone close to you. You should not name any individuals (other than yourself) or include information through which someone else could identify an individual about whom you are writing. If you want to comment on someone else's experience, (eg a relative or someone you care for) then you may do so if you ensure that you are not named in the posting and you state how the other person is connected to you (eg "my father"). You warrant that all statements of fact in any comment you submit are true, and that any expression of opinion is your honestly held opinion on those facts, or that of the person on whose behalf you are writing.

10.3

Comments on services should be relevant to helping people make choices about places where they can receive medical treatment or other care. Postings should be constructive, truthful and not abusive.

10.4

You should not use the comments facilities to make complaints about individual hospitals, GP practices or treatment centres if you wish the matter to be dealt with under the NHS complaints procedures.

10.5

If you find any comments offensive or objectionable you may make a complaint to the moderator using the "Report" link provided at the foot of each published comment.

10.6

We have many measures in place to keep your information safe. But it is important that you also play your part – visit the government's Get Safe Online website for advice on how to do this.

11 NHS National Data Opt-Out service

11.1

The National Data Opt-Out service allows you to manage your data sharing choice. It comprises a set of information pages and a set of interactive pages.

11.2

Certain sections of the National Data Opt-Out service require you to insert (or provide by telephone, or send by post) personal data, to verify your identity and enable you to use the National Data Opt-Out service in its entirety. You agree all information provided will be accurate and complete.

11.3

It is your responsibility to inform an NHS service or GP practice if anything changes with your personal data.

11.4

To note, your data submitted as part of the National Data Opt-Out service will not be viewable on the public area of the NHS website. See our National Data Opt-Out Privacy Notice for more details on how this service uses your personal data.

11.5

The National Data Opt-Out service pages including all content, information, services and software provided on the National Data Opt-Out service pages are not licensed for commercial use under section 3.4.

12 Attacks, unauthorised access and other violations

12.1

You must not try to gain unauthorised access to the NHS website, our services, the servers on which they're stored, or any server, computer or database connected to them. You must not attack the services in any way, (this includes denial-of-service attacks). We'll report any attacks or attempts to gain unauthorised access to the site or service to the relevant law enforcement authorities and shall share information about you with them.

12.2

You may not use the NHS website to transmit any false, misleading, fraudulent or illegal communications.

13 Remedies

13.1

To the extent that we are practically able to do so, we may terminate your access to all or any part of NHS.UK and services at any time without notice if you breach any of the terms.

13.2

You may terminate your account registration using the "Deactivate my NHS website account" link in your account pages. This will clear any personal information you have saved. Subscriptions to our emails can be terminated using the "Unsubscribe" links provided in the emails.

13.3

We reserve the right to investigate complaints or reported violations of our terms and to take any action we consider appropriate, including but not limited to reporting any suspected unlawful activity to law enforcement officials, regulators, or other third parties and disclosing any information necessary or appropriate to such persons or entities relating to user information, email addresses, usage history, IP addresses and traffic information.

14 General

14.1

If any of these terms are determined to be illegal, invalid or otherwise unenforceable then the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect.

14.2

These terms, together with the service specific additional terms, shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England.

14.3

The NHS website is delivered for the Department of Health and Social Care by:

NHS Digital
1 Trevelyan Square
Boar Lane
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 6AE

Page last reviewed: 28 February 2020
Next review due: 28 February 2021