Feeds

Doctors sick of anonymous-coward NHS feedback commentards

Welcome to the internet, doc

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.