PIF Sounding Board

Time for review


About the Sounding Board

The PIF Sounding Board is a sense checking and peer review service for organisations that produce health information for patients and the public.

If you are creating a new resource, or updating an existing one, the Sounding Board will provide you with high-quality, comprehensive feedback on readability, content, format, user involvement and effectiveness.

External review and feedback is an invaluable part of improving the quality and accessibility of health information. The Sounding Board provides a convenient way for organisations to obtain virtual access to experienced individuals, who can expertly comment on their resources, for example commenting on a draft leaflet, booklet or website pages.

Sounding Board Reviewers are a carefully selected panel of health information professionals who can provide expert comment and feedback on your resources. All Sounding Board Reviewers are current members of the Patient Information Forum (PIF) and have a minimum of three years’ experience in the production and provision of health information for patients and the public.

Reviewers work in the NHS, voluntary sector, government agencies, professional associations, commercial organisations and freelance sector.  Some also have particular expertise in associated areas such as managing information services, developing policy, health literacy, accessibility and design.

All Reviewers formally apply for the position and provide a reference, plus examples of their work.

How the Sounding Board works

For a set fee your organisation will have access to a virtual panel of health information specialists who can provide expert comment and feedback within a specified time.  All work is conducted virtually.

Your resource (preferably in its finished design and format) will be sent out to up to four Sounding Board Reviewers, with a standard form for their comments. These are returned to PIF by an agreed deadline, where they will be collated (responses are anonymous) and then sent to you. You will receive feedback on issues such as style, tone, appropriateness for the audience, structure, readability and use of jargon.

All feedback will be confidential, and from the perspective of a health information professional, not a patient or member of the public.

In addition to general feedback you can also request comment/feedback about specific aspects of your resource or from people with particular expertise. For example, you may want design feedback on a booklet, or expertise on information for people with learning difficulties.  Please note that the number of available people to comment is likely to be smaller for particular areas of expertise than for general feedback.

More information, including the form to complete when submitting a resource for review, can be found here:  PIF Sounding Board-Information for Users and Project Form-Feb 2019 (PDF) or PIF Sounding Board-Becoming a Reviewer-Role Description and Application Form-Feb 2019 of the form.

If you have any questions please get in touch: nicole.naylor@pifonline.org.uk

An example of the use of the Sounding Board can be read in this blog.

Sounding Board prices 

The price charged covers administration, and a standard fee paid to Sounding Board Reviewers. Fees are based on the size of the resource and the time it will take to review. All work is conducted virtually.

Length of resource Non PIF member rate (not for profit)* Non PIF member rate (commercial)*
Up to 2,500 words £495+VAT £750+VAT
Up to 5,000 words £900+VAT £1,350+VAT
Up to 7,500 words £1,500+VAT £2,000+VAT

*PIF Members receive a 10% discount on the above rates.

If your resource is longer than 7,500 words, or if you would like to discuss your specific requirements, please get in touch: nicole.naylor@pifonline.org.uk

Overall I thought the service was incredibly valuable and useful. The feedback was comprehensive, specific and honest, which is just what we were looking for. The timeframe was also very quick which was brilliant.

LEO Pharma (Dec 2018)

Joining the PIF Sounding Board as a Reviewer

If you would be interested in becoming a Reviewer for the PIF Sounding Board please see the information and application form here: PIF Sounding Board-Becoming a Reviewer-Role Description and Application Form-Feb 2019

If you have any questions please get in touch: nicole.naylor@pifonline.org.uk