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Independents' Day

Practices to be ranked against one another on NHS Choices

GP practices will see their performance ranked on the NHS Choices website through a new data comparison tool, under plans unveiled by the Department of Health.

The MyNHS tool – still in test phase – currently allows patients and health bosses to rank hospitals, social care providers and public health services on issues such as CQC ratings, mortality rates and waiting times using data available from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The Department of Health said further data on clinicians, practices and CCGs will be added ‘at a later date’, although a spokesperson told Pulse individual GP performance data would not be included.

But GP leaders warned that ‘blunt performance tools’ will not be helpful to patients.

The site has been developed by the DH in conjunction with NHS England, Public Health England, the CQC and HSCIC.

A DH statement said: ‘The site will be developed and improved over time by gathering feedback from users… More data from CCGs, GP practices, clinicians and mental health trusts will be added at a later date.

‘Clinicians, managers, patient groups and campaigners will be able to use the data to highlight the best performing areas and improve standards through competition and transparency.’

The announcement comes after Pulse revealed last month the DH had postponed its plans to give GP practices ‘traffic light’ ratings for their performance after a backlash from GP leaders.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt had previously told national media he wanted the NHS to publish a ‘red flag’ rating system to GPs who perform poorly on early cancer referral.

Mr Hunt said: ‘MyNHS is a powerful new tool that will give professionals across the healthcare system the opportunity to learn from each other and improve their services.

‘This is the next step of the journey we are taking to create the most open and transparent healthcare system in the world.’

Dr Grant Ingrams, deputy chair of the GPC’s IT subcommittee and a GP in Coventry, said publishing performance data would not help the public choose a GP practice, however.

Dr Ingrams said: ‘We shouldn’t be recommending patients decide whether they go to a particular practice purely based on, for example, whether they had to wait an extra day to see a GP – when the other practice may provide much better holistic care, which is the sort of thing that doesn’t get picked up on blunt performance tools.’

He  added: ‘Unfortunately the indicators we have are only useful for benchmarking – to say to practices, this is where you are, why is this, and then to work out if that is because you are poorly performing, or because of a different population, insufficient resources, not having the right premises and so on. But this information will not tell patients whether it is a good practice or not.’

A DH spokesperson told Pulse: ‘More information, including GP practice level data will be added to MyNHS at a later date.’

Readers' comments (17)

  • Can we find out how money is being spent on these pointless tools?

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  • Another lesson in how not to recruit and retain from HMG+DoH.

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  • Can we have a tool that tell us how many days the politicians spend in Parliament and how many days in the constituency.

    How much time were they awake and paying attention as opposed to getting drunk on cheap subsidised booze and fags in the on site members bar.

    How much expenses they claimed in order, and how many are paying family.

    How many vote in favour of their constituents needs, as opposed to their pockets.

    How much bribes - sorry donations they receive from lobbyists, and how this influences their voting patterns.

    Who is awarded honorary positions onto Company boards on leaving parliament - and who can we report these conflicts of interest to.

    How many have evening and week end sessions for voters to contact them at convenient times to log their view and comments and complaints.

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  • I vote for Jeremy Hunt and Andy Burnham to go first and answer these questions suggested in the post above.

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  • Nasty, pernicious, unnecessary, inaccurate, and worthless tool.

    And the proposed system of grading is rubbish too!

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  • Bob Hodges

    Classic disinformation tool. Make GPs personally responsible for the effects of factors over which they have no control:

    Their List Size, the quality of the local DGH, their dilapidated premises, local unemployment and deprivation and the weather.

    That'll be useful then.

    Of course it won't make it easier for someone to concoct a reason to end the contract of partnerships that have managed to become larger through merger or growth, and 'put them out to tender' aka give them to your mates.

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  • I did a medical report for a patient and honestly put on it that I did not feel this patient would be able to cope with work due to liver failure requiring transplant, diabetes, ascites, pvd and you name it... The next thing I knew was a post on NHS choices- saying this is the worst doctor blah blah blah !
    Only one in a thousand happy patients will comment positively about the Surgery or GP but every single dissatisfied patient - whether justifiably or not- wants to comment. The comments do not, therefore, reflect a true picture anyway. So why continue with GP bashing?

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  • Yes, more complete tosh!

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  • Perhapse I am a bad GP, perhapse the 60 hours working with patients, 8 hours keeping on top of changes in medicine and 1 hour logging it all each week, isn't enough. Perhapse I should leave. I know my patients are not happy, I'm not happy and the more hours I dedicate the worse I become as a father and husband. I have given more than I should for the last 4 years trying to improve the health of my patients. I am certain this can't continue, I just wonder which piece of straw will break my back.

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  • Yes, perhapse this is the last straw

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