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Patients to comment on NHS site

31st December 2008

Patients are to be allowed to post comments about GP practices on the NHS Choices website from this summer.

nhschoices1

The move on the website, now run by Capita Group, aims to improve GP performance and will come into effect when appropriate software is ready.

However, content is set to be moderated so no individual GP or staff member is named and shamed.

Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said in an interview with The Guardian that patients should be able to cross reference GP practices in the same way they would a holiday destination.

He said: "I want people to be able to read comments. It may be that people think that the GP is fantastic and they can always get an appointment within 48 hours. Or they may have terrible experiences and think the receptionist is really rude."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are encouraging hospitals, and will do so with GP practices, to make the most of the patient comments facility to engage with patients.

"We have seen that the comments are mixed and balanced and this is an opportunity to respond online and demonstrate to prospective and current patients how they (the NHS) are taking feedback on board."

The spokesman said patient comments on NHS Choices was a practical demonstration of the NHS putting patient feedback at the heart of policy.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said GPs always welcome comments from patients as they help practices to improve the services but warned that a message board facility was open to abuse.

 

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