Claire Utting and Marie Clegg are our new Information Officers responsible for the information we produce about primary bone cancer. ​With over twenty years' joint experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, Claire and Marie joined the Bone Cancer Research Trust to help take our information resources to the next level.

Thanks to their vast amount of experience and knowledge of developing information for patients and healthcare professionals, we are delighted to have been awarded the Patient Information Forum's PIF TICK – the UK's only assessed quality mark for print and online healthcare information.

Below Claire and Marie share more about the accreditation and what it will mean to patients.

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Claire: I started working in the healthcare communications industry over 13 years ago. During that time, I've had the pleasure of working with big and small pharma, universities and charities, helping them to ensure the health information they produce is right for the end user. It's so important. Providing a patient with information they understand empowers them to make the best healthcare decisions possible. That's why I feel passionate about the work that I do.

Marie: I've spent the past 8 years working in the pharma industry, specialising in the design and testing of health information and medical devices for patients. So, I've seen first-hand the effect well-written, trustworthy information can have on health outcomes. I love the work that I do – mainly because I'm very detail oriented, so nothing beats getting stuck into a review of an information resource, be that a booklet, webpage or leaflet.

What is the PIF TICK and why is it important?

PIF stands for the Patient Information Forum, a not-for-profit organisation. They launched the PIF TICK in May 2020 to replace the Information Standard.

The PIF TICK is the UK's only assessed quality mark for health information, printed or online. To receive PIF TICK certification, we had to undergo an assessment to show how the Bone Cancer Research Trust met PIF's 10 standards. We became officially certified on 31st January 2023, a great start to the new year!

The TICK being present on information resources is important for patients since:

  • There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation circulating in the health space it is hard for patients to tell what is factual and what isn't. The PIF TICK indicates that the information is balanced, accurate and of the highest quality, so patients don't need to question its legitimacy.
  • The PIF TICK is an easy way to show patients that information can be trusted – they don't need to research authors of the information or check if references are reputable, for example. This makes the process of finding out about a health issue less anxiety-inducing and is consistent with what they will find from healthcare professionals.

What difference will it make to our information resources?

Each information resource we produce goes through a rigorous checking procedure to ensure it is of the highest quality when it is published.

Having the TICK on our resources means they are:

  • Trustworthy
  • Evidence-based
  • Written in plain language
  • Produced by trained staff

What was involved in achieving the PIF TICK?

As part of our work towards getting the PIF TICK, we have been working with the rest of the Support and Information Team on reviewing and updating the Ewing sarcoma booklet for teens and young adults. We have been fortunate that experts in the primary bone cancer field, and patients and families affected by bone cancer, offered to review the Ewing sarcoma resource.

We are very thankful for their feedback, which has allowed us to update the booklet to ensure it reflects current practice and is sensitive to the needs of patients and their families.