Rate-your-GP site lands SHA contract
By Ian Quinn
Exclusive: Controversial GP-rating site IWantGreatCare.org has landed its first contract with an SHA, as it seeks to steal a march on NHS Choices in an increasingly tense battle for control over online GP ratings.
The deal with East of England SHA will allow NHS chiefs to monitor real-time feedback about GPs and the site said it was in talks with several other NHS bodies about providing similar services.
The privately-run website will soon compete head-to-head with the Government–run NHS Choices site, which will launch a 'Trip Adviser'-style scorecard for patients to rate practices in the next few weeks.
But IWantGreatCare.org founder Dr Neil Bacon said: ‘Why spend millions of pounds of taxpayers' money to create something that's already there?'
Dr Bacon has been encouraged by the Conservatives, who have indicated they would scrap the Department of Health's ownership of NHS Choices and allow private companies to take over IT contracts, even singling out IWantGreatCare.org.
‘A year ago people were saying that this site was a ridiculous crazy thing,' he said, ‘and now we've got the NHS doing it.'
A spokesperson for the Conservatives said it would welcome a bid from IWantGreatCare.org to run GP feedback if it was in power, adding: ‘We have already said we do not think it is the Department of Health's job to be posting comments about GPs.'
But a Department of Health spokesperson said NHS Choices was ‘the best place for patients to post their own feedback and read the views of others.'Dr Neil Bacon: 'A year ago people were saying that this site was a ridiculous crazy thing and now we've got the NHS doing it.'