The Department of Health is moving its digital operations to the new single website for government services at the end of March.
The DH is the last of the ministerial departments to move its operations to gov.uk as part of a programme being led by the Cabinet Office’s government digital service.
The department’s managed service contract ends on 31 March, and its website will go live on the single government domain gov.uk on 26 March.
DH head of channel strategy Alice Ainsworth said the move was already underway. Last week, the DH migrated its wordpress subsites to a new hosting environment managed by a wordpress-specialist company procured through G-cloud.
“Many of the channels that we currently have in place will stop due to changes to the health and care system and because responsibility for these areas of work will move to the NHS Commissioning Board or Public Health England,” said Ainsworth.
“Of the remaining sites we have, some will migrate to gov.uk after April, others will migrate to a central government blogging platform, and some will be archived.”
The DH currently has 40 subsites on its wordpress platform, including bulletins and blogs, but plans on keeping four.
“Because we’re radically scaling back the number of sites we have, we needed to move to a low-cost and flexible replacement for our hosting and support. We simply want to pay for what we use,” she said.
The aim of the move is to make access to the website more user friendly and to take best practice from across all government departments and make it the standard for everyone.
“In order to get to where we want to be there are still a few things we need to do more thinking about, including what we want from our digital first publications, how best to run our formal/ informal consultations and how to do better email newsletters and email marketing,” said Ainsworth.
The move of the website was outlined in the DH’s first ‘Digital Strategy’, published in December last year.