(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
feedback, government, uk

UK Government To Set Up Online Feedback For Public Services

from the A++++-gr8-doctor!!! dept

While some American doctors are taking steps to try and prevent their patients from reviewing them online, the British government says that it will soon open up a feedback system for people there to review doctors in the country's National Health System. Not surprisingly, a doctors' trade body has taken exception to the plan, saying it "could reduce NHS care to a meaningless popularity contest, encouraging perverse behaviours and an emphasis on the superficial." Perhaps that's true, but it could also put pressure on doctors to be more responsive to patients and pay more attention to how they treat them. The move is part of a wider effort to open up all sorts of public services in the UK to public feedback, rating service providers like police, schools and childcare providers. The value of the feedback when people don't have any choice in provider -- such as police -- may be debatable, but it could prove to be a useful tool to help encourage improvement.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Dan, Mar 16th, 2009 @ 8:31pm

    Why is it that doctors, world wide, seem to think they are above criticism. Do they think we are to stupid to intelligently comment on their services, or are damaging their GOD complex?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Nathania, Mar 16th, 2009 @ 9:15pm

    Are they even going to listen? I mean, they're not purchasing cancer treatments b/c they're "too expensive."

    Does anyone really think the NHS cares about their patients?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Frosty840, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:51am

    Well, that's pretty typical. Politicians are public servants, too, but will undoubtedly prevent themselves from being rated on the basis that the whole lot of them are a public nuisance, not a public service...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    ChasW, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 4:57am


    If somebody says something not-so-nice on the site, does each visit count as an instance of defamation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    pr, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 7:06am

    Negative feedback on your noggin

    If you leave negative feedback on the cops do they come around and give you another opportunity to rate them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 9:38am


    Neither, it's much more about being caught with their pants down and showing just how inept and incompetent some of them actually are.

    When you work in an industry that quite literally allows you get away with murder, suddenly having the spotlight on your competency must be very frightening.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 17th, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Public review of doctors

    I am biased; I admit it.
    I had a dentist (for about three visits total) who was both incompetent and "milking" the system. I found out he is incompetent when I went to another dentist, who Xrayed, then immediately sent me to someone else to repair the damage.
    However, when I expressed anger, I was told in no uncertain terms (though not in these exact words) that the Dental Association (or whatever it is called) would pound me into a knothole unless I shut up - the only thing my dentist recommended was "don't go back".
    In order to even get dental treatment, I swallowed my losses, pain, and suffering. I still have a dentist (another one, of course), I beleive, as a consequence of my keeping quiet.
    I still think this is just WRONG, and my present dentist agrees - he just doesn't want to buck the Dental Association, and doesn't want me to, either - he doesn't "want to lose me".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    PaulT (profile), Mar 17th, 2009 @ 1:59pm


    Let me guess... American? If so, you realise everyone can still get private treatment if they want it, and the drugs turned down are usually experimental or are actually hideously expensive? Maybe you also realise that such refusals happen under the US system as well?

    If not, maybe you have some links to a story about a non-experimental, reasonably priced drug that was universally refused on the grounds of cost alone? That would make an interesting read if it's from a reputable source (i.e. not the Daily Mail).

    Anyway, this is a good step forward though I have no doubt it will be abused. At the very least it gives me some ammo against the drooling idiots on other sites who try to claim that Europeans can't choose their doctor or other such nonsense because of the "horrors" of their "socialised" system.

    I had a bad experience once in the NHS with my GP (family doctor). I changed doctors. Never had a problem since, though it would be nice to be able to make a choice based on a greater level of available information. Either way, I get far more healthcare value for money than the Americans I know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Mar 17th, 2009 @ 2:26pm

    When is the dental ratings site up?

    F------ for all dentist in the UK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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