Patients don't want GP league tables
Patients do not want league tables of practices and are indifferent to the Government's policy of choice in primary care, research has concluded, writes Anna Hodgekiss.
The study, led by Professor Martin Marshall, now deputy Chief Medical Officer, found
tables of performance data were a 'turn off' for patients.
Personal experiences of GP services and the doctor-patient relationship were a higher priority, the research by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre found.
It concluded: 'Patients have different information needs from managers, clinicians and regulators and are most likely to simply ignore routine performance data. They are not clamouring for lots of performance or outcome data. They do not want to be treated like or behave in a traditional consum-erist way, and expressing choice of primary care provider does not seem to be a high priority.'
Patients were also more interested in the availability of GP services and the willingness of the practice to listen to their views.
Professor Marshall, former professor of general practice at the NPCRDC, said: 'League tables and things that matter to policymakers are without doubt a turnoff to patients. The maj-
ority of patients are loyal
and committed to their practice and have a keen desire to
help improve it, as opposed to move.'
The study, published in the September issue of Health Expectations, involved 103 patients across 19 practices.