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NHS to launch online rating of GP practices next month

By Niall Hunt

Exclusive: The NHS Choices website will begin allowing patients to anonymously rate their GP practice from the middle of next month, it was announced today.

Speaking at Pulse's 'Essential Financial Skills for General Practice' seminar in Manchester this morning, Guy Lavis, stakeholder and communications lead at NHS Choices, said that online rating of GP practices will begin from 'mid-October', although he added that the exact date was not 'set in stone'.

He sought to reassure GPs about the contoversial feedback facility, telling them: 'Don't expect the worst.'

'It is a premoderated tool. Everything on NHS Choices will be read before it is posted,' he said, adding that over three quarters of the 15,000 comments received about hospitals so far had been positive.

'We know from other data that overwhelmingly the public have got very high ratings of their GPs, far and away over that of any other civil servants.'

But Mr Lavis insisted that it was patients' right to rate practices, adding that 400,000 patients already use NHS Choices to look up local GP data every month.

And concerns remained around checking whether a commenter really was a patient at the practice concerned, he admitted.

Mr Lavis confirmed that, as revealed in Pulse earlier this month, patients will be asked a series of multiple-choice questions about telephone access, appointment availability, the 'respect' shown by staff, and whether they felt involved in their own care.

They will also be asked whether they feel their practice offers accurate information about its services, and given the chance to provide free text comments on what they like and what can be improved.

Online rating on NHS Choices will be extended to GP practices next month Online rating on NHS Choices will be extended to GP practices next month Video: Guy Lavis at Essential Financial Skills

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