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Patient surveys may form league tables

Patient surveys could be used to form league tables of practices, according to the author of one of the two surveys approved for use under the new contract.

Professor Martin Roland, director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre and author of the GPAQ survey, said league tables would be acceptable as long as the data was collected in the same way from each practice.

'If this is done, we would advise calculating scores for the main scales rather than reporting individual items ­ though we suggest the latter when practices are just looking at their own scores,' he added.

However, the creator of the alternative Improving Practice Questionnaire, Dr Michael Greco, said league tables were 'not a legitimate use of patient surveys'. He added: 'It's quite daunting for a lot of practices to get feedback from patients and I don't think this is going to help.'

Practices will receive 40 quality points by carrying out a survey and a further 30 for discussing changes with their PCO and implementing them.

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