NHS Choices weekly website report – week 27

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Close-up of hands with vitiligo depigmentation

This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period July 3-9 2017, which saw 10.1 million visits to the site. This was a 1.06% increase on the previous week and a 2.68% decrease compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 7.39 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017

Top 10 site area visits

Visits to Treatments and Conditions saw the biggest increase this week, going up by 0.44%. The NHS in England saw the biggest fall, with a 0.30% decrease 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 9.58% of all site visits in week 27.

Neuroblastoma: The death of six-year-old Bradley Lowery led to a flurry of visits to the ‘Neuroblastoma’ page, which ranked as the 18th most visited page on NHS Choices in week 27. Visits rose by 458% to total 43,588, with 56% of the weekly total occurring on July 7 – the day Bradley’s death was announced.

Gonorrhoea: Warnings that untreatable strains of gonorrhoea are on the rise led to an increase in visits to gonorrhoea pages. The ‘Gonorrhoea introduction’ page saw visits go up by 147% to 18,086, while the ‘symptoms’ page saw visits rise by 199% to 9,869. The ‘diagnosis’ and ‘complications’ pages saw visits increase by 171% and 208% respectively. There were also 775 visits to the related ‘Behind the Headlines’ article.

Cerebral palsy: Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’ was responsible for a spike in visits to cerebral palsy pages after someone with the condition took part in Tuesday night’s episode. Visits to the ‘Cerebral palsy introduction’ page went up by 173% to 16,351, with a clear spike when the programme was on air. Visits during the 10-10.59pm viewing window accounted for 60% of the daily visits to the page, with numbers remaining elevated for the following hour. Visits to the ‘symptoms’ page saw a 120% increase to total 2,215.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘Neuroblastoma’ and ‘lupus’ moved into the top 10 this week after ranking 79th and 13th respectively last week.

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Stevens-Johnson syndrome: Visits to the ‘Stevens-Johnson syndrome’ page saw a 135% increase to total 4,317 after a number of online newspapers covered the story of cinema attendant Kevin Mannion, who contracted Stevens-Johnson syndrome. The syndrome is a rare but serious disorder that affects the skin, mucous membranes, genitals and eyes.


Vitiligo: The ‘Vitiligo introduction’ page saw visits rise by 59% to 10,367 after celebrity chef Dean Edwards appeared on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ to talk about life with the condition. Visits to the page peaked on July 4, with a clear spike during the 8am to 8.59am viewing window.

Bites and stings: Visits relating to bites and stings have been of interest this week. The ‘Insect bites and stings symptoms’ page saw a 52% increase in traffic to total 36,795, while the ‘12 UK insects and bugs that bite or sting’ page saw visits rise by 71% to 14,929. The ‘Animal and human bites’ page saw a 15% increase to 4,562, while visits to the ‘Snake bites’ page rose by 25%. There was also a 54% increase in visits to the ‘Jellyfish and other sea creature stings – Treatment’ page, which had 3,372 visits.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 116,931, a 10.13% decrease compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 4,458 views.

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