Feeds

Doctors sick of anonymous-coward NHS feedback commentards

Welcome to the internet, doc

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A leading GP has declared that the general public are too rude about doctors on the internet in a complaint that may amuse those of us more familiar with the culture of "Internet feedback".

In an interview with eHealthInsider, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, of the British Medical Association's GP Committee said that patient comments about NHS services on the NHS Choices website were often “malicious” or “fictitious”.

Dr Nagpaul said: “In most cases the predominance of feedback is from patients with an issue they want to raise, or a complaint, which gives a very misleading impression.”

He said that such comments "tar" the reputations of practices and don't represent the views of the average patient. Nagpaul added that anonymity allowed the commenters to say things that they wouldn't if they were named and also made it hard for doctors to determine the specifics of a case.

Nagpaul's complaints may not be surprising to anyone familiar with internet comment boards, but the issues surrounding internet comment culture are relatively new to the NHS - Choices launched in 2007 and became drastically more popular in 2011 notching up a 56% rise in visitors compared to the year before.

Trolling controversies have flared up around NHS Choices in recent months. The British Medical Association had to warn doctors to be nice in their comment responses in August, and according to a Guardian report one practice manager in Chelsea was sacked after falling for some Troll-bait and firing off this response to a moaning patient:

The concept of this forum is entirely flawed, as anybody can write anything with absolute impunity. 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.

Practices are encouraged to respond constructively to comments.

According to eHealth stats, 68,000 comments have been posted on NHS Choices and about 12% of them were rejected for breaching their guidelines, which can include comments that contain abusive language or are disrespectful. However 3000 of the ones that were let through have been queried by medical practitioners. Nagpaul said that number was too high.

Comments are a core feature of the NHS Choices website. The comments widget on the homepage says: "If you recently visited a GP, dentist, hospital or any other NHS service, give your feedback". Readers can search by postcode to find reviews of GPs, hospitals and dental practices near them. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
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.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.