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PCTs subscribe to iwantgreatcare doctor ratings service

By Steve Nowottny

NHS trusts are to hire the controversial IWantGreatCare website to monitor patient experience and help performance manage GPs, Pulse has learnt.

The rate-your-GP site, established last summer amid a storm of protest from GP leaders and the threat of legal action, has revealed it is on the brink of signing agreements with four PCTs and two acute trusts.

Trusts will be given ‘real-time' access to anonymous patients' ratings and feedback on individual doctors within their area, and a ‘bespoke, interactive dashboard' to track patient experience.

IWantGreatCare staff will also advise and help PCTs implement ‘the changes in culture and operations necessary to deliver continuous improvement in patient experience.'

A spokesperson for IWantGreatCare said:‘A big part of the business is to work with local trusts to provide bespoke systems for monitoring patient experience. It's effectively taking the free open patient site, using that as a foundation but with other tools to do a bespoke analysis service for local trusts.'

But GP leaders responded angrily to the plans, claiming the site could lead to misleading ratings.

Dr John Grenville, secretary of Derbyshire LMC, said: ‘[PCTs] ought to undertake a bit of due diligence to see what the standard of information is that they're getting that they might be relying on.'

Dr Paddy Glackin, secretary of Camden and Islington LMC, said local GPs had advised ‘very, very strongly' against using the site.

‘We've got no problem with patients being informed - what we're not keen on is patients not being adequately informed.'

But at least one trust, NHS Islington, is already endorsing the service, urging patients visiting its own website to ‘rate your own GP or hospital doctor' on IWantGreatCare.

And the move comes as Sir Muir Gray, the NHS' chief knowledge officer and adviser to the Government's soon-to-be practice-rating site NHS Choices, revealed he had put his own money into the IWantGreatCare project and hailed the site's founder Dr Neil Bacon as ‘a genius.'

Sir Muir admitted that when the site was first launched ‘the BMA went crazy', but he insisted that ‘most feedback is positive.'

‘If you can give feedback on a £50 bed and breakfast, you have to be doing it [for GPs],' he said.

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