Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A new website to empower (UK) patients

iWantGreatCare is a new website started by Dr Neil Bacon an Oxford specialist: iWantGreatCare is a free service for all those looking to find a doctor for themselves, their family or those they care for. iWantGreatCare allows you to search for a doctor by name, specialty or region of the country and read the reviews and ratings of other patients. The site invites patients to contribute comments about their doctors. The doctor can instantly read your review. Reviews are totally anonymous unless you offer identifying information yourself. I think the site is a fantastic idea! The majority of the doctors working for the NHS are very good and treat their patients with kindness and respect but some have the most horrid attitudes towards patients (unfortunately, I speak from personal experience) and make life even more miserable for patients who are already suffering with ill-health or worried and anxious about the outcome of tests. This site helps by giving patients a public voice and sharing their views with other patients as well as doctors. (link via an article in The Independent by commentator, Christina Patterson: Poor patient care is a bitter pill to swallow) Update: In the article, Christina states that, "...it was started by Dr Neil Bacon, a renal specialist in Oxford. And his colleagues are up in (scrubbed, green-sleeved) arms." Boy,she's not kidding! There is some serious backlash from the medical community which you can read about on the blog, NHS Blog Doctor, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I have to say that I can see the (defensive) view that doctors are taking but it's a shame because I think the idea to give some power to the patients sounds good, at least in theory but perhaps not in practice. I can see how the power the site give patients might be abused. What are your thoughts about the site?

2 comments:

  1. I am all for sites like this. Rate my teacher is another.. I can understand why the doctors and teachers may not like it but at the end of the day people are allowed to have an opinion and to share that opinion. The teacher outcry was worse, they didnt like the idea of kids having the ability to answer back and banned the site from school computers.. as if that would stop them posting! Power to the people!

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  2. Yes, I agree... up to a point.

    The problem is that people can post their views anonymously and if they want, they can start a smear campaign out of pure spitefulness without any facts or evidence needed to back their claims.

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