What a headache

I had a bit of a headache this morning and idly decided to look and see what advice there is on the web.  Naturally, I turned first to directionlessgov (as the quickest way to get both google and direct.gov results) and then to both nhs.uk and nhsdirect.nhs.uk. I then went to dh.gov.uk and, for comparison, usa.gov (which is the old first.gov).  The top three, directly pasted in from each, were:



and cluster headaches are less prevalent, but have serious, and sometimes life-
…. Patients with chronic headaches: chronic daily headache (CDH) and

from http://www.dh.gov.uk ()

Page 1 148mm 13mm 13mm 40mm 8mm 5mm Profile Keys: Copy/Text Free
help to take away the headache and other symptoms of a migraine attack such as
feeling if you are over 50 and this is your first headache of this type

from http://www.mhra.gov.uk ()

Taking the headache out of managing your staff | Business Link
Home > Training Directory > Find events > Employing people events > Recruitment
and getting started events > Taking the headache out of managing your staff

from http://www.businesslink.gov.uk (17k)


All about seasonal flu, including common symptoms to look out for and how to get a flu jab
Seasonal flu
from http://www.direct.gov.uk/

What causes strokes and what you can do to reduce the risks of having a stroke, as well as where to get help and advice
from http://www.direct.gov.uk/

Find out about free immunisation schemes for influenza (flu) and other highly infectious diseases if you’re over 50
Flu jabs and immunisation
from http://www.direct.gov.uk/

NHS.uk versus nhsdirect.nhs.uk NHS Choices

  • Headache
    A tension-type headache is the most common type of primary headache. � Sleep is often disrupted, with the headache causing you to wake up at the same time each night. � Headache
  • Treatments and Conditions
    Skip navigation NHS Choices your health, your choices. Search entire site Search for: search the site… search Main menu: �
  • Headache – Treatment
    � at the time of the headache. � dose as soon as a headache starts, a second dose can be taken after 4 hours if necessary. � taken to prevent a headache but taken at the time of the headache.
  • NHS direct

    Headache Prevention – Health encyclopaedia – NHS Direct

    …menu Health encyclopaedia � H � Headache Headache…Headache …during these periods will reduce headache frequency. During headache free periods, alcohol does not…

    Headache Causes – Health encyclopaedia – NHS Direct

    …menu Health encyclopaedia � H � Headache Headache…Headache …the painkillers and a withdrawal headache may occur if painkillers are…

    Headache Diagnosis – Health encyclopaedia – NHS Direct

    …menu Health encyclopaedia � H � Headache Headache…Headache …Keeping a headache diary may help you to…

  • 1. The Headache Clinic, York Hospital

    The clinic takes a person-centred approach to educating people about their symptoms so they can modify their behaviour and use the most appropriate strategy to control their symptoms. The lead clinician is a GP who has a special interest in headache and is part of a multidisciplinary team. The clinic has set up a specific patient pathway for this service.

    1 March 2005

    Quality requirement 2: Early recognition, prompt diagnosis and treatment section

  • 2. Guidelines for the appointment of general practitioners with special interests in the delivery of clinical services: headaches

    This guidance describes the core functions and responsibilities of a GPwSI in headaches, and factors such as evidence of experience to be considered in making an appointment.

    1 April 2003

    Publications policy and guidance section

  • 3. Action on Neurology programme

    Examples of good practice from the Action on Neurology pilots.

    11 May 2005

    Quality requirement 2: Early recognition, prompt diagnosis and treatment section

  • first.gov (which uses msn live search)

  • MedlinePlus: Headache

    Headache … National Institutes of Health. The primary NIH organization for research on Headache is the …

    www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/headache.htmlCachedMore from National Institutes of Health

  • MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Headache

    Alternative names Return to top. Pain – head. Definition Return to top. A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. Serious causes of headaches are extremely rare.

    www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003024.htmCachedMore from National Institutes of Health

  • Headache Information Page: National Institute of Neurological …

    Headache information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke … 21st Century Prevention and Management of Migraine Headaches Summary of a workshop on 21st …


  • I’ve probably been in this too long to still be surprised at the results.  I think, though, that I am surprised that NHS.uk (NHSchoices), NHSdirect.nhs.uk (the famously recursive website name)  and direct.gov aren’t all pointing to the same set of content – i.e. that one of them isn’t the de facto authoritative source on “headaches”.  NHSchoices sources its content from NHSdirect, although I’m not quite sure how (I think it’s repasted, not synced via some clever method but I may be wrong).

    Some other points that intrigued me:

    – Google finds something on the DH site that is vaguely relevant – it’s a PDF document (and, oddly, directionless doesn’t give me the chance to view it as html), but it isn’t the same thing that the DH site itself thinks I was looking for

    – USA.gov is following its original strategy of not being the source of content and instead links to somewhere it thinks is the right place; and it uses a rebadged search engine from Microsoft.  Maybe the US government thinks Google is too powerful now 😉

    – Direct.gov has a thing about ‘flu and headaches, although I’m not sure this is the ‘flu season, despite the weather

    This search business is definitely a tough old game.  The winner, though, has to be NHSdirect which includes a section on “treatment” – NHSchoices, despite rebadging the content, doesn’t have that link.  But it’s certainly not a winner by a knockout, simply on points.

    Perhaps I should have added the word “goat” to the search term

    4 thoughts on “What a headache

    1. NHS Choices content is the same as NHS Direct – but not packaged as nicely.£13 Million well spent!

    2. NHS Choices is new and still improving, the content is far greater than the service offered by NHS Direct (check out the Behind The Headlines service) although the overlap right now is high. The aim for NHS Choices to become the primary online health service for DH / NHS (all good stuff in the context of transfromational government) and working alongside Directgov and pan-government search to bring better consistency to information and service provision.Never likely to satisfy those who respond with the tired old phrases of \”£xm well spent!\” etc.. but this is a real attempt to move online provision in the right direction.

    3. I think NHS Choices is improving, and I like some of the new stuff, behind the headlines is really interesting, making a bit of a mockery of some of the daft tabloid headlines every day.

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