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Independents' Day

GPs want to scrap Friends and Family Test and NHS Choices reviews

The BMA's GP Committee has been told to lobby for the end of the Friends and Family Test, as well as practice reviews posted by patients on NHS Choices.

The motion, passed at tofay's England LMCs Conference, said 'trivial complaints' couod be 'taken out of the system, as the practice time and resources they consume are disproportionate'.

Dr Lee Salked, from Avon LMC, proposed the motion arguing that CQC is suffient 'in-depth' and 'unbiased' regulation of GP practices.

He argued that the other 'reporting mechanisms' paid 'no attention to the dire challenges facing general practice to provide the access and quality of care that we aspire to'.

'So, let's ditch all the other feedback mechanisms and focus on delivering high quality care rather than defending ourselves against the self-interest of a very small number of patients,' he said.

Speaking against the motion, Mike Ingram from Hertfordshire LMC suggested GPs could 'harness NHS Choices' by focusing on the positives.

He said: 'We have tried to do that as a practice. Every positive review, every compliment boosts the morale of GPs, nurses but particularly that of practice staff who were often seeing that praise reflected for the work they do.'

Motion in full


That conference deplores the over-regulation of general practice and it calls upon GPC England to lobby government to:

(i)             abolish the NHS Choices reporting system

(ii)            abolish the Friends and Family test reporting system

(iii)           review the current procedure for GP complaints so that trivial complaints can be taken out of the system, as the practice time and resources they consume are disproportionate

Readers' comments (9)

  • This is long overdue. It's become part of the GP bullying industry that sprung up in the last decade. The NHS choices site in particular has become a magnet for those with an axe to grind. It's sample size is far too small to be given serious consideration. Medicine does not work well with consumerism, it just drives poor use of limited resources. All in all rating GPs like Trip-adviser is a bad idea.

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  • Spot on Avon behind you 100%. The sooner this is trashed the better. There'll be some management cost savings too.

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  • AlanAlmond

    ...if this is something ‘GPs want’ I can guarantee it ain’t going to happen. Anyone in a position of organisational control gets a wiff of this and mountains will be moved to ensure it doesn’t happen

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  • We have 2 patients who regularly comment anonymously on the NHS choices website with very derogatory comments but the content links back to their consultations. We have no redress against these individuals but between them they have contributed to 90% of the negative comments. Again, it’s a one way process with no ability to defend oneself. I know we give our patients a good service but 1 or 2 patients can skew data enormously. It’s so frustrating and unfair.

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  • I never read it. Total rubbish. They can change practice if they don't like us. Thing is there is no shortage of punters out there and the silent majority love us. So unhappy people, please go elsewhere.

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  • Being a somewhat fragile soul, I purposely do not read the comments.

    I always try and do my best with each consultation, I cannot change my personality and at this late stage in my career I am unlikely to change my consultation style. So why subject myself to unnecessary pain ?

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  • Completely ignore all unverified posters... infact just ignore it altogether!

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  • Friends and family a bit like the BMA and RCGP to frontline jobbing GPS an irrelivence,useless and best ignored in everyday practice.

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  • Over regulation for GPs and under regulation for MPs !! We are expected to have protocols for everything including harassment etc when they have none. Come on guys lets just say No it shouldn't even be up for discussion until they get their house in order

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