GP practices are being rated according to patient satisfaction, with the results due to be published online on the NHS Choices website for the first time today.
A nationwide survey of patients ranked more than 8,000 practices in England, scoring them out of 10 in areas such as how good doctors and nurses are at explaining and listening to patients, and how easy it is to get appointments.
The data collected will be used to form a new measure for patient experience and is intended to allow patients greater choice when it comes to registering with a GP practice, according to the Department for Health.
The information will also allow patients to easily compare local GP practices, as well as enabling them to find practices with strengths and experience in particular clinical areas.
“This data will not only help patients choose the right GP surgery for them but will also give GP surgeries and the NHS new information they can use to make fresh, innovative improvements,” said Health Minister Lord Howe.
“Patients will now be able to see exactly what the experience of being a patient at each GP surgery is really like.”
The NHS Information Centre website will also publish data tailored to GPs and practice staff, with new data and an analytical tool being made available to allow areas of weakness to be identified and improvements to be made.
This information will include data on delivery of vaccinations for at-risk patients, and how many patients from the practice failed to turn up for hospital outpatient appointments.