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Modularised content: What's next?

NHS Digital Product Manager James Lumgair gives an update on the project to make specific sections of content on the NHS website available to syndicators, so more people can get accurate, NHS-assured information wherever and however they need it.

We first talked about content modularisation in August 2019. Since then, we’ve made great progress in making NHS website content available to an increasing number of products and services.    

An image of a chatbot and modularised content

What is content modularisation?

Visual representation of different modules on the NHS.UK website

First, a quick reminder of what 'content modularisation' is.

Content modularisation is the name we’ve given to a project that will fundamentally change the way NHS website content is designed. 

We’re looking to move away from designing web pages that can only be used in one way to designing content that can be used flexibly and that works for a range of platforms, channels and technologies - for example, mobile pages, apps, voice assistants and chatbots.

This will mean that our content can be used by syndicators in smaller, more specific sections – or 'modules'. 

To find out more about what’s involved, see our content modularisation: quick guide.

We’ve launched 250 modularised conditions topics

A screen grab of modularised content

The biggest news from the team since my last update is that content modules are now available for 250 of the most popular medical condition topics on the NHS website.

This has involved a lot of hard work from the team to ensure the content modules we provide are easy to use, meaningful, accessible, accurate and clinically safe.

The 250 modularised topics are available for free to syndicators who sign up to our terms and conditions through:

  • our conditions API – health content you can integrate into your service 
  • our Health A to Z widget – a content box you can embed into your service
  • web-scraping – a JSON+LD script using standards is included in the code for each modularised page

People are starting to use our content in new ways

Examples of apps on mobile devices

As awareness of our modularised content grows, and as more of it becomes available, it can be used by ever more diverse products and services. This can only be a benefit to the public, as they know that content from the NHS website can be trusted to give them information that is accurate and safe.

For example, we’re currently working with a health charity interested in using our modularised content in an app they’re developing. 

We’ve also been speaking to some organisations about using our modularised content in chatbots and voice channels.

Our modularised content is still being developed and we welcome opportunities to collaborate with potential users.

If you think you might benefit from modularised content in your product or service, get in touch at [email protected]

Up next – medicines and child health

The team are currently working on modularising medicine pages from the NHS website Medicines A to Z

This includes creating content modules like:

  • what a particular medicine is
  • how to take it
  • side effects
  • if you can take it while pregnant or breastfeeding

As part of this, we plan to add SNOMED codes to our content. These codes will make it possible to link our content with clinical systems, so that clinicians can easily signpost patients to NHS information relevant to their specific medicine, condition, test or treatment.

The team will also soon be looking at possible approaches to modularising advice for new parents in the NHS Pregnancy and Baby guide. The plan is for syndicators to be able to tie this content in more closely with digital child health records.

Contact us

We’re keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in using our modularised content, or just wants to find out more about the work we’re doing.

You can get in touch via email at [email protected].

Related subjects

Content modularisation of the NHS website will help our content reach more  people via search engines, voice-activated devices, chatbots and wearable devices. NHS Digital Product Manager James Lumgair explains more.
The NHS website team has worked with Amazon’s Alexa team to offer health information by voice search. Eva Lake, Head of Engagement for the website, explains how the collaboration is working.


Last edited: 28 June 2021 3:29 pm