December 2012: Rebecca Canvin, Executive Editor, Health Information Team, Bupa

Rebecca Canvin, Executive Editor, Health Information Team, Bupa

I am an Executive Editor within the Health Information Team in Bupa. My role involves managing a team of Health Editors and producing relevant, readable and reliable health information for the Bupa website and publications. We have more than 1,000 pages on our website of free health information, including over 600 factsheets on tests, treatments, conditions and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These factsheets are supported by short FAQs that give practical answers to common health questions.

In our team we produce a daily health focus article for the Bupa website on a relevant health topic that is trending in the media, or related to a health awareness day. We aim to give an unbiased, balanced view of health news stories and provide the reader with health information and advice.

We have recently launched a new hub on our website called ‘Making decisions about your health’. It contains information about shared decision making, understanding medical risk, questions to ask your doctor and getting the most from your appointment. This hub of information aims to help people to become more involved in decisions about their health.

I look after our library of health assets, including 82 animations, 23 videos, 135 illustrations and 45 photos. These all support our factsheets, and the animations and videos are also available on our Bupa Health YouTube channel and some of our illustrations are on our Bupa Pinterest channel. We also have a library of various tools, calculators and apps to help people find out how healthy they are and give advice on what they can do to improve their health.

All of our information goes through a rigorous editorial process and is evidence-based using sources such as journal articles, systematic reviews and national guidelines. The information is peer reviewed by medical experts and we encourage consumer feedback through a website survey and email comments. The quality of our health information and processes has been recognised through various industry accreditations and awards, including the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards. We are also certified by The Information Standard and our website has been approved by the Plain English Campaign.

My role as an Executive Editor involves liaising with Bupa’s SEO agency to optimise pages for search, increase visits to our website and develop content for multi-signal search campaigns. I really enjoy this part of my job as it allows me to actively see the reach of our health information and how many people visit our website.

There are many reasons for us producing health information. At Bupa, our purpose for customers and the wider society is to live longer, healthier, happier lives. Our content plays a role in achieving this by providing free health information that supports people in different stages of their patient journey. By providing people with up-to-date information that gives a concise and accurate overview of the health topic, we can help them to make better lifestyle and healthcare choices.

I became a member of PiF when I joined the Health Information Team in Bupa. Being a member is very valuable to us. It’s great to receive the weekly newsletter to help me keep up-to-date with the latest news on health information, including events and research. The PiF annual conference for members enables us to meet other people involved in creating health information and hear from experts in the field.

In October, I attended the Leveraging Social Media event supported by PiF. It was really valuable and I gained knowledge from experts in the field. I heard from Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK about how they have used social media to provide patient information and a peer support network.

For more information about what we do, see our website or contact me at