Department of Health and Social Care
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NEW SERVICE HANDS MORE POWER TO THE PATIENT

NEW SERVICE HANDS MORE POWER TO THE PATIENT

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 11 August 2009

A new online service that allows patients to rate and compare hospitals on issues such as car parking and waiting times was launched today by Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

As patients now have the right to choose when and where they receive hospital treatment, a new web-based scorecard is now available at www.nhs.uk to give people all the information they need to make the right choice of hospital for them.

The scorecard, which works in a similar way to internet comparison websites, means patients will no longer have to search multiple sources to find key information about where to receive treatment. Instead, for the first time, patients will be able to compare a range of hospitals and their ratings in one place, as well as read reviews on:

· Mortality rates;

· Infection rates, including MRSA and Clostridium difficile;

· Cleanliness;

· Staff performance;

· Quality of food;

· If patients felt they were involved in decisions around their care; and

· If they would recommend the hospital to friends and family.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

“Going into hospital is one of the most important moments in anyone’s life. And yet we don’t equip patients with anything like enough information to make informed decisions.

“The new scorecard helps patients make the right choice of hospital for them by bringing together all the information in one place for the first time.

“The service also offers an unparalleled opportunity for hospitals to be made aware of any issues and act to improve their services, helping to drive up standards across the board, and become more patient focused.“

Michael Summers, Vice Chairman of the Patients Association, said:

"The more information that patients have about local availability of their healthcare and the standards that they are looking for, the better it is. We would fully support the launch of this important web tool and would hope that patients will benefit substantially from it."

Every hospital in England is also being asked to encourage patients to leave feedback on the NHS website, as well as responding to comments, to drive up standards.

Stephen Ramsden, Chief Executive of Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"We have been working closely with NHS Choices and our frontline staff to raise awareness of the excellent information on this website for our patients. We also want to make sure that our patients are aware that they can leave feedback about their experience on NHS Choices to help us to continue to improve our services, and also to praise the L&D Hospital where it is due."

Later this year, a similar service is being launched to allow patients to rate and compare GP Practices.

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors

1. The website allows patients to pick from a drop down menu, and choose criteria which are most important to them when making their decisions. People can either look at a general scorecard which compares different hospitals, or look in more details at specific treatments and procedures within those hospitals.

2. Feedback will be monitored and any abuse, including naming of staff, will not be posted.

3. For more information please contact the Connecting for Health Press Office on: 0207 004 1555

Contacts:

Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221
NDS.DH@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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