Update your address, possibly

I am delighted to announce a new feature on the site about which I am quite excited although I must admit may disappoint a lot of you.

Over the past couple of years I have received a steady trickle of emails about practices with incorrect details on the database. This can because practices have moved, merged, or changed hands. Commonly it is due to not terribly good details in the first place. It can be impossible to tell one practice from another within the same building in some cases.

Other emails have pointed out that this site appears rather higher in the rankings of search engines than their own website which caused confusion amongst users.

The answer is to allow practice to update their own details. This can be more easily said than done however. It required quite a bit of messing around in the entrails of the site although the same process has given a more intelligent search form.

The really difficult bit is trying to unsure that only practices can change their details. Somewhat to my surprise the NHS IT people have not yet provided a reliable way of making sure that a GP's identity on-line is who they say they are. The closest I can come is the old style email addresses in England which contained the practice id as part of the address. For many practices, even with nhs.net addresses this old address will still work. For practices outside England so such system has ever existed to my knowledge.

So please have a go if you can, and my apologies if you cannot. Suggestions for an on-line verification scheme for other practices gratefully received!

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