Published Wed, 2012-02-22 10:56; updated 34 weeks ago.
NHS local has launched a new digital service that combines simple statistics about a hospital’s performance with opinions and ratings from the people that use it.
Patients can compare performance data on hospital trusts providing acute care in the West Midlands presented in a way that makes it easy to understand.
NHS local has taken complex NHS data relating to acute hospitals and the larger foundation trusts in the region and simplified its presentation by producing ten key pieces of information about each trust – five on how well it performs and five on how satisfied are the patients treated there.
Performance & Opinion blends official data with patient surveys, user ratings and the opinions of people who have used the hospital to present a balanced and easy-to-understand picture of the trusts’ performances.
The service is designed to enable patients to make meaningful choices about their healthcare. And it also allows patients to share their opinions on what they think of the service they have received.
The data is from reliable sources and is used to produce star-ratings based alongside patients’ own satisfaction scores. By combining official facts with patients' own comments about their experience, it should now be possible for both patients and GPs to decide which hospital is the right one to provide the most appropriate healthcare.
"This is a new step for the NHS, but an essential one if we are going to make choice and transparency a reality," says Prof Richard Wilson, head of the West Midlands Quality Observatory, which collects the data.
NHS local plans to add more trusts’ performance ratings as more data and user feedback are collected. A similar service providing information about GPs, dentists, specialist hospitals, mental health and community services is being considered and there are plans to look at how the Friends and Family Test might be used as a recommendation system.