Terms and conditions
NHS Networks facilitates networking in the NHS in all its forms. It provides advice and support including comprehensive online resources for running face-to-face and virtual networks.
The NHS Networks website is the set of publicly accessible pages at www.networks.nhs.uk.
The site administrator is the individual responsible for the overall operation of the NHS Networks website including the technical infrastructure. The administrator also oversees the policies set out below.
The Network Finder is a database of all the networks that have registered with NHS Networks. It allows people to find your network and it allows you to find out about other networks.
The network pages are the web pages run by and for individual networks. NHS Networks hosts these pages free of charge and provides easy to use tools that allow individual networks to create and maintain their pages and manage their membership.
The network administrator is the individual responsible for a network’s presence on NHS Networks. That person may or may not have wider responsibility for leading the network and is likely to be the designated contact.
The home page for every network hosted on NHS Networks includes a brief network profile detailing the network’s aims, membership policy and contact information. All networks can have a profile and a listing on the Network Register even if their web pages are hosted elsewhere.
Anyone who works for or has an interest in the NHS can take part in NHS Networks. You don’t need to join anything or provide your details to view most of the material on the NHS Networks website, which includes news, a regular blog, public forums and the Network Finder – a flexible search tool for locating specific networks and browsing the contents of the Register of Networks.
You will be asked to register as a member if you want to do any of the following.
- Join an existing network
- Start a network of your own
- Post comments to forums
- Sign up for our weekly email bulletin
- Submit news, documents and other material
Apart from obvious practical benefits, registration allows individual networks to enrol new members, manage their membership and keep in touch with their members. Registration also allows individuals and networks to be connected in more interesting ways.
The registration process
We do not believe in onerous or long-winded registration. We keep it quick and simple.
We ask for much less information in the redesigned registration process. We need your name and email address, and we need you to choose a user name and password. We do not need to know who you work for, what you do, your inside leg measurement or other personal details. On NHS Networks, you are defined by your interests and your contribution, not by your vital statistics or your job title.
Information about the use of data provided in the registration process is covered in the privacy section.
Under the Data Protection Act, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. We will only use your information for the purpose we have described and we do not pass on your details to any third party or government department unless you give us permission to do so. We use leading technologies to safeguard your data, and keep strict security standards to prevent any unauthorised access to it.
If you send an email or log a query on the website asking for information, we may need to contact other government departments to find that information. If your question is technical, we may need to pass it to our IT team. We do not pass on any of your personal information when dealing with your enquiry, unless you have given us permission to do so.
Comments and questions
When you post comments or questions, these can be read by anyone visiting the page. Your user name may appear next to your comments, though you may post material anonymously. We reserve the right to remove or edit material posted on the site.
We never send unsolicited email newsletters. Newsletters are only sent to users who have chosen to receive them or similar communications from within the NHS family. Every email newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. After clicking the link, an email will be sent to the relevant email address asking you to confirm the cancellation. Alternatively, you can cancel your subscription by updating your online profile.
We use session cookies to make it easier for you to navigate our site. A session ID cookie expires when you close you browser.
A persistent cookie remains on your hard drive for up to one year. These may be used from time to time to enhance the convenience of the site. You can remove persistent cookies by following directions provided in your internet browser’s help file.
You can set your computer not to accept cookies. If you do that, you may still use our site, but there may be some minor limitations on your ability to use some parts of it.
You are not required to register in order to use the open access material included on the NHS Networks website. You do need to register to post in forums, join a network, add an existing network to NHS Networks, or create a new network.
The only information you are required to provide for registration purposes is your name, email address, and a user name and password of your choice. We use this information for the following purposes.
- To personalise the information available to you, eg providing access for eligible users to restricted content and discussion forums.
- To maintain an up-to-date database of contacts for NHS Networks.
- To allow extra administrative facilities (such as editing page content) to authorised users.
Occasionally, we may share contact data with other teams in the NHS family where this supports our work.
Your contact details will never be released outside the NHS family without your explicit prior consent.
Restricted access content
In the interests of more effective sharing of information and wider collaboration, users of the NHS Networks website are encouraged to take as open as possible an approach to publishing information.
There will be circumstances in which confidentiality is important. The NHS Networks site allows for the creation of closed forums, invitation-only networks and the ability to restrict access to confidential documents.
While we make every reasonable attempt to protect the privacy of information in restricted access areas of the site, we do not provide a guarantee. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that they have appropriate authorisation to publish material on the site. Do not post commercially sensitive information or data that would identify patients.
Access and membership policy
NHS Networks is based on principles of openness and encourages the sharing of information as widely as possible. Individual networks are entitled to set their own access and membership rules. It is up to the network administrator to set the access policy for the network, which can include a mixture of public and member-only pages. We recommend that networks take a liberal view of access to published materials and apply an inclusive membership policy where possible.
We recognise that networks may wish to limit their membership, have certain discussions in private, and decide whether and how to share confidential information.
Network listing policy
There are few restrictions placed on the type of network that can be set up on NHS Networks. NHS Networks encourages diversity and involvement.
Although we define networks broadly, there are a few rules and exclusions. Networks must be bona fide. Commercial and not-for-profit organisations may not register as networks. Networks that promote products or services or in any way seek to further the commercial aims of any individual or organisation may be removed from the NHS Networks.
Networks should establish their credentials with clearly worded mission statements and transparent membership policies.
We encourage NHS Networks members to report any suspected breaches of the code of conduct by individuals or networks. We reserve the right to remove any network from the Register of Networks without notice or explanation.
The purpose of these discussion forums is to encourage sharing of information and networking within the NHS and its partners. Views expressed are solely those of the contributors; NHS Networks makes no warranty as to the accuracy of any statements.
Contributors to forums are reminded to make responsible postings. Abusive, offensive and defamatory material will be removed as soon as possible. Users of forums are encouraged to report inappropriate postings.
Commercial advertising of services or products is not permitted in forums. Any posting seeking to promote private or commercial interests will be removed. We reserve the right to close the user accounts of persistent offenders.
Anybody may view the public forums but posting requires registration. Postings may be anonymous, but contributors are reminded that their email address and other details are visible to the site administrator.
Comments posted in forums may not be published in any form elsewhere – whether reproduced, quoted, or paraphrased – without the prior consent of their originator. Before referring to material contained here in any public domain, please contact the editor for advice.
Inclusion of material
We encourage contributions of material for publication on the NHS Networks website from:
- NHS staff and contractors whether clinical, managerial, clerical or ancillary
- Networks and organisations with an interest in the NHS
- Partner organisations in the public, private, community and voluntary sectors
- Patients and the public.
We encourage networks to make material from their own pages available for wider publication on the NHS Networks website, and provide network administrators with a publishing tool for this purpose.
All material is posted in good faith, on the explicit understanding that the information is submitted with the consent of the authors and is free from copyright, data protection or other restriction.
We promote the use of plain English and invite contributors to use the NHS Networks style guide.
The submission of reports, good practice material and documents from NHS organisations should normally be supported by a director.
Contributions from non-NHS partners should be in collaboration with an NHS network where possible.
The source and authorship of documents made available for general use will be credited on the website.
We reserve the right not to accept contributions.
We decide how and where on the site material is posted but we will try to respect contributors’ wishes wherever possible.
NHS branding and identity rules
Users of this site must adhere to NHS branding and identity guidelines.
You must seek the express permission of the author or owner before publishing copyrighted content on NHS Networks. Even if you provide attribution you may inadvertently breach copyright.
You do not need to seek permission to link to content on a third-party site.
Content on other sites
NHS Networks is not responsible for the content of third-party websites.
Exclusion of material
We reserve the right to decline to post or to withdraw material which in our view is libellous, offensive, malicious, inaccurate, misleading, unhelpful or of poor quality. We will also exclude material which in our view has been submitted for the purpose of furthering private or commercial interests where these are contrary to or in conflict with the culture and ethos of the NHS.
Exclusion of endorsement and warranty
Publication of a document on the website does not imply endorsement of its contents, or warranty of its bona fide status, by NHS Networks.
All contributors to the NHS Networks website and to the individual pages hosted by the site are expected to abide by these terms and conditions.
Comments and complaints
In the first instance should be directed to the site administrator.
NHS Networks reserves the right to maintain the site policy for the benefit of all users. The decision of the site administrator is final. We do not guarantee to enter into correspondence on particular or general matters of site policy.