A comparison website where patients can rate GPs on how well a practice is being run has been launched by the Department of Health.
The site is similar to a hospital comparison service launched in the summer, and follows a government announcement that patients will soon be able to register with any practice, regardless of location.
Prospective patients can read about how easy it is to get an appointment, how staff treat patients and whether patients feel they are involved in decision-making about their care.
Existing patients can make recommendations and criticisms, although abusive comments and those that mention staff by name will be removed.
Says Health Minister Mike O’Brien: “This allows every single GP practice in the country to see the patient’s view on what they are doing well and what needs to be improved.
“It will help drive up quality across the board, and is another step in ensuring we have a modern NHS which reflects the needs of the patient.
“It is vital we equip patients with enough information to make the right choice for them.”
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What’s your view on this? Does the online rating of GP surgeries by patients represent a new era for general practice? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
“If you live in a village with only one practice and the alternative is five miles away there’s little realistic choice. It’s yet another system aimed at urbanites. I have no objections to patients using the web to offer their opinions but do not believe that it will necessarily drive up quality standards. Those popular practices will not be able to absorb a great influx of patients and maintain the service and the practices who lose patients will be at risk of closing ultimately reducing the choice” – Name and address withheld