Feeds

NHS patient site set for summer launch

Free choice

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A new patient choice website, including patient reviews of hospitals, has been announced by health secretary Patricia Hewitt.

She announced that NHS Choices will go live during the summer. It is being developed by Dr Foster Intelligence, LBi and Sapient, following an invitation to tender in January.

"Patients will soon be able to choose, with the click of a button, where they want to have their treatment," said Hewitt. "Our new choice website will allow the public and clinicians to access a range of information through one super site that will act as a gateway to navigate NHS services."

In addition, from 11 April around 30 libraries in 10 local authority areas will run pilots in which library staff will help patients to choose hospitals for treatments online.

The Choices website will include: "searchable comprehensive directories e.g. on hospitals, GPs and care homes; comparative data on hospital waiting times, cleanliness and readmission rates; (and) individual and family health risk assessments based on age, sex and location," according to the Department of Health.

The site will also have a range of multimedia content, and a function for patients to comment on their hospital treatment.

Paul Hodgkin, chief executive of Patient Opinion – which already provides a patient review service for the NHS – says his organisation may help provide this aspect of NHS Choices.

"The Department of Health would like us to be involved in the patient feedback bit of the site, and all other things being equal we would like that too," he said, adding that it would make sense for Patient Opinion's experience to be drawn upon.

However, Hodgkin said issues such as the location of the personal data need to be resolved.

"Our view is that these sorts of sites are better drawn from a civil society base, rather than government, but that's not where it's coming from," he said.

The opening of the Choices website will be accompanied by patients gaining the ability to choose any provider in the country for orthopaedic and hip replacement treatments. "Free" choice will to apply to all treatments from April 2008, but has been brought forward for these procedures.

"The BMA welcomes putting patients at the centre of everything," British Medical Association chairman James Johnson said in a statement. "While this website is likely to have a lot of useful information, we need to make sure the information is accurate and that patients are able to use it meaningfully. For that reason it must not be presented in technical jargon."

The libraries involved in the patient choice pilot are in seven London boroughs, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire and Suffolk.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.