The news comes as the DoH prepares for its first national consultation event, taking place in Birmingham this weekend. The event's 1,000 delegates are drawn from the electoral register and represent a diverse cross-section of society.
Discussion groups in Gateshead, Leicester, Plymouth and London showed patients wanted to get information from someone they knew, such as a GP, district nurse, chemist or carer, said DoH head of broadcast strategy Alison Cook.
'This change in the way people want to receive information could have far-reaching consequences,' she said. 'Traditional routes such as leaflets appear not to be the most effective; patients want the personal touch.'
Discussions will be broadcast on the internet from Monday, which Cook said would allow public affairs groups, charities and specialist interest bodies to 'watch policy being made'.
Feedback will contribute towards a white paper that will be published by the end of the year.