Conversation peace - Guardian
"The latest web technology has the potential to disrupt the NHS status quo - but it could transform our experience of healthcare."
This is a very thought-provoking, interesting article which is well worth reading.
"The NHS concentrates on efficacy and efficiency but these are aesthetic aspects of care. Questions such as: were you included in decisions? Did staff make you feel precious or worthless? are just as important. Too small to be dealt with by formal contracts, they gain some bite by being voiced on the public space of the web. Add comments from patient groups, and feed these conversations back to hospitals and primary care trusts, and the small voice of the individual can become the kernel of real change.
Running Patient Opinion has convinced us that the state or public sector providers themselves are likely to be poor hosts for these conversations. Citizens are likely to instinctively distrust government websites, suspecting them - rightly or wrongly - of spin. They may also be reluctant to give email addresses to a feedback platform owned by the NHS when they may be users of its services in the future. And, of course, health abounds with controversies, be it hospital closures or herceptin rationing.
In our view, the NHS will find it easier to handle such firestorms if they are hosted on a platform that is clearly independent of the main players.
These arguments are about to be put to the test with the development of the NHS Choices website, which is due to go live this summer and has been funded by the Department of Health at a reported cost of £8m. It is a welcome attempt to provide a single site where patients and citizens can find all the information they require about health and, among other things, includes a "patient voice" section where patients will be able to give feedback about their care at hospitals."
It ends with the this website address: patientopinion.org.uk Paul Hodgkin is a GP and chief executive of Patient Opinion. James Munro is director of research at Patient Opinion. - They are the writers of the article.
In my personal opinion, any website inviting and publicising patient opinion should not have a GP or any other health professional as its chief executive...
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