This book contains the proceedings of a conference held by the Office of Health on 30 November 1994 entitled ‘Health Information and the Consumer’ and chaired by Lord Peston. The idea for the conference developed out of the results of a survey conducted on behalf of the OHE by Milpro to ascertain where people obtained their health information and what impact it had on their lifestyles and attitudes to health matters. The survey and the subsequent Briefing (Griffin, 1994) raised a number of important issues about the role of health information, health professionals responsibilities and the needs of consumers. The papers presented at the conference and published in this book seek to address these issues.