BBC Health website closure

Editor

I’m Dan Gluckman, an editor in BBC Learning and I look after the Knowledge and Learning Science, Health and History websites.

Later this month the BBC will be changing the way we cover the topic of health online and closing the current BBC Health website.

This doesn’t affect the BBC News Health site which will continue to publish news and features about health, but applies to pages that currently sit under the url bbc.co.uk/health.

At present the Health website covers a broad and diverse range of subjects such as medical conditions, healthy living and child development.

When the site launched over a decade ago there were few sources of comprehensive, medically checked health information online.

However, things are now different and we want to avoid duplication with other online content providers, in particular the NHS Choices site which provides information and advice on health conditions.

Therefore from now on we intend to play to our strengths. We want to maximise the impact of our output already on TV, radio and online by channelling our audience's natural curiosity about health topics into finding out more about the science of what is happening inside their bodies.

We’ll do this as part of the new Knowledge and Learning product which will bring together over 100 existing BBC websites, from Bitesize to Food, into a single, consistent user experience.

The product has already featured on the blog and you’ll be hearing more about it here and elsewhere over the coming months.

Until the Knowledge and Learning product launches some of the pages that cover major health conditions such as cancer and heart disease will move to our existing Science site.

They will focus on the science behind the conditions with links through to relevant pages on NHS Choices and other organisations for people who want to know about symptoms and treatments or find other information.

Some of our popular tools such as the BMI Calculator and Ovulation Calendar will remain for now. We have plans to relaunch them as part of the Knowledge and Learning product in the future alongside new content relating to health topics.

The rest of the BBC Health pages will not disappear (so links to the pages will not break) but will be replaced by a page that explains about the closure of the site and a link through to NHS Choices.

Although BBC Health has been a useful service for many years I’m confident that the information that our audiences want will still be available online and we will point them towards it.

I would be interested to hear your comment.

Update October 2014: This month, we are removing the BBC Health Pregnancy Calendar from the BBC website. If you are interested in this type of content, there are other medically checked resources available online.

Dan Gluckman is an editor in BBC Learning.

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