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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Zagat-style user guide to rate hospitals

27th October 2008

The government plans to try out a "Zagat-style" guide to the health service, which will rate hospitals and GP services based on scores given by patients.


Zagat is a restaurant rating company and is working with WellPoint, an American health insurance company, to let patients report on the quality of their doctors' care in the US.

Patients will give "star ratings" to some health service services in a similar way to how restaurants are ranked in user guides according to how much positive feedback they receive.

The NHS Choices website has received more than 6,000 comments from patients about health service trusts.

The rating system is scheduled to start in 2009 and will have its own site so patients can award ratings to the care they received.

Lord Darzi, the government's health minister, said the rating system was one of the ways he wanted to make care better in the health service, as detailed by his "next stage" review.

Lord Darzi told The Independent: "We will have a Zagat-style guide here. We plan to do that as part of the NHS, providing a guide to hospitals and GP practices. In my hospital [St Mary's in London] there could be a Zagat rating for the colorectal service, in which I work."

Lord Darzi added that patients would not "rate individual doctors – high quality medicine is a team effort now." Instead they would rate services in order to show quality of care.

"That is the bit they get wrong in the US – they don't have the clinical outcomes data. Those websites [which rate doctors] are based purely on patient experience."


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