Data published for the first time will help patients choose the right GP surgery and help GPs and the NHS to make improvements.
Information gathered on over 8,000 GP practices in England will be used to form a new measure of patient experience for each surgery, as part of the Government’s commitment to opening up data about health services and making it available to individuals and the NHS.
The data will be based on patients’ responses to the GP Patient Survey, which assesses the individuals' experiences of their local GP surgery on aspects like: how convenient it is to get an appointment; the length of time spent waiting in reception; surgery opening hours; and the skills of doctors and nurses in explaining and listening to patients.
Each GP surgery will get a score out of ten, which will help patients to choose which surgery to register with as well as help drive up standards within the profession.
Health Minister Lord Howe claimed that the survey is planned to ‘‘make it easier for patients to find the best NHS care for them.’’
The new data on patient experience will be available on the NHS Choices website; enabling people to make quick and direct comparisons between different GP practices in their area and choose the right doctor for their needs.
Lord Howe explained: “Giving patients more information about their local NHS is a big part of our commitment to transparency and using data to drive improvements.
“This data will not only help patients choose the right GP surgery for them but will also give GP surgeries and the NHS new information they can use to make fresh, innovative improvements.”
To find out more about the new data publication and to compare surgeries in your area visit www.nhs.uk
Written by Catherine Ridge
Department of Health, www.dh.gov.uk/