NHS Choices weekly website report – week 25

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Did the recent hot weather leave you sunburnt?


This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period June 19-25 2017, which saw 10.4 million visits to the site. This was a 3.69% increase on the previous week, and a 1.90% increase compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 7.57 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017


Top 10 site area visits (% of total visits)


Visits to ‘The NHS in England’ saw the biggest increase this week, going up by 0.93%. This week’s biggest faller was ‘Treatments and Conditions’, which saw a 0.62% decrease in visits compared with last week.

Within Treatments and Conditions, there are a number of guides providing in-depth information on topics such as ‘pregnancy and baby’; ‘contraception’; ‘vaccinations’; ‘stress, anxiety and depression’; and a guide for ‘care and support’. Guides accounted for 9.34% of all site visits in week 25.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): The ‘European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)’ page was the most visited page on NHS Choices this week, with visits totalling 293,489 – a 71% increase compared with the previous week. The rise in visits came in the same week that Brexit minister David Davis announced that British citizens travelling in Europe will continue to enjoy free or reduced cost healthcare after Brexit. There was also a rise in visits to EHIC-related common health questions (CHQs), with ‘How do I get an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)?’ seeing a 111% increase to total 11,079, while ‘What do I do if I lose my EHIC or it gets stolen?’ saw visits rise by 35% to 6,191.

Chickenpox: There was a 52% rise in visits to the ‘Chickenpox introduction’ page, with visits totalling 53,012. The ‘symptoms’ page saw a similar increase, with visits going up by 50% to 31,835, while visits to the ‘treatment’ page rose by 43% to 14,922. CHQs on the subject were popular, with ‘Can I get chickenpox more than once?’ seeing 8,799 visits – a 61% increase compared with the previous week – and ‘What are the risks of chickenpox during pregnancy?’ seeing visits rise by 39% to reach 4,946. Shingles visits were also of interest, with the ‘Shingles introduction’ page seeing visits increase by 14% to 19,730.

Hot weather-related conditions: The hot weather continued to influence visits to NHS Choices, with the ‘Heat exhaustion and heatstroke’ page seeing a 113% increase in traffic totalling 60,659, while the ‘Sunburn’ page saw visits rise by 32% to 51,331. The ‘Prickly heat’ page saw visits go up by 116% to 40,577, while the ‘Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather’ page saw traffic increase by 382% to 34,798.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘European health insurance card’ and ‘Lyme disease’ moved into the top 10 this week after ranking 11th and 14th respectively last week.


Lyme disease: Visits to the ‘Lyme disease’ page rose by 80% to 73,940, seeing it rank the 12th most visited page on NHS Choices. Both the Mirror Online and Mail Online published stories on the condition during the week.

Sickle cell disease: The death of Prodigy, one half of the American rap group Mobb Deep, led to increased interest in sickle cell disease pages. Prodigy had suffered from sickle cell disease since birth. Visits to the ‘Sickle cell disease introduction’ page went up by 251% to total 11,049, while the ‘symptoms’ page saw visits rise by 76% to 1,320.

Jaundice: News that Beyonce’s newborn twins are being treated for jaundice sparked interest in the condition. Visits to the ‘Jaundice introduction’ page saw a 70% increase to total 8,955, while the ‘Newborn jaundice introduction’ page saw visits go up by 33% to 5,815. Visits to the ‘Jaundice introduction’ page peaked on July 21, the same day The Sun published an article on the condition, when visits accounted for 27% of the weekly total.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 131,644, a 2.79% decrease compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 5,132 views.

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