A practice staff member has been sacked after posting angry responses to patients on NHS Choices, deriding the feedback website as a ‘flawed concept'.
The employee reacted after a series of critical and anonymously posted comments about the Chelsea Practice in west London, calling it ‘disgusting' and the staff ‘unprofessional'.
‘The concept of this forum is entirely flawed, as anybody can write anything with absolute impunity,' the employee wrote in the practice's official reply box. ‘I take all comments seriously, even though some of them are contemptible. Since you choose to hide behind the title of "anonymous", I have little alternative than to dismiss your comments as unhelpful and unsubstantiated.'
Replying to a patient saying they had switched to another practice, the employee wrote: ‘This is wonderful news. We are all delighted you have been able to find a new GP.'
The Chelsea Practice has posted an apology for the ‘inappropriate' responses. More recent patient comments are positive, praising the ‘wonderful' reception team.
Senior partner Dr Claire Scudder said: ‘There were failures of management on something very public, and a member of staff was sacked. But I am concerned about the whole issue of anonymity on the site – it seems like there is a bias in the system.'