Information and support from other people, in the same situation.
Jon Snow: I think it’s one of the most exciting developments in the internet age, it really is the absolute cornerstone of what society should be all about.
Titles: Since its launch, Healthtalkonline has attracted support from leading academics, health experts and celebrities.
Jon Snow: I think it is an absolutely unbelievable service, provision, opportunity for ordinary people who experience all sorts of health difficulties.
Hugh Grant: My mother died of pancreatic cancer nine years ago and one of the things that happened when she was diagnosed and being treated was that, although the doctors were marvellous in explaining the disease and treatments, we did wish as a family that we knew a little bit more, especially first hand from other people who’d suffered the disease or been close to the disease. And so when this website, Healthtalkonline, came to my attention a year or two ago, I thought it was a great thing to support.
Jonathan Miller: it adds to, ultimately, to the literature of something absolutely essential to all of us as human beings.
Jenni Murray: It has extremely reliable founders, so you know that whatever you’re hearing is kosher. But that idea of people sharing their experience, I think is really important.
Karol Sikora: The great thing about this site is that it’s validated, you know you can trust it. It’s been gone through very carefully, it’s factually correct, and there are no extremists in there that are telling information that’s really is not true.
Students, young doctors have seen very few patients with any specific illness. Naturally, they gradually accumulate that experience. This allows them to, very quickly, a couple of hours at a time, just look at different diseases and see what it’s really like from the patient’s viewpoint. And that’s tremendously educational because, reading a dry textbook and you can learn all the classifications, all the Latin and Greek words but you don’t know what it’s really like to have the disease.
There’s no doubt an organisation like this and a website like this captures the momentum of the 21st century in terms of information and empowerment of patients.
Phillip Pullman: When we’re told we’ve got this or that disease we want to know more about it, we want to find out whether we’re going to survive, what it’s going to feel like to be treated in various ways and above all we want to hear from people themselves rather than doctors and Healthtalkonline does exactly that. The experiences of real patients, told at full length, not just a snatched little soundbite here and there, but the full story of someone’s engagement with the disease and with the treatment and with other patients who’ve had it and with the doctors and surgeons who’ve dealt with them, is such a valuable thing.