"Seeking good quality information"

(as the patient),

I want factual information about hospital services rather than moans from people about things that have gone wrong. Everyone knows that in an organisation the size of the NHS things go wrong which induces people to vent their anger on websites like this. People are less likely to praise their local hospital when things go well and less so if just satisfactorily. If a hospital department is awful then we need to know, but I don't think I am getting this sort of information here. Information about serious problems needs to be collated and expressed as a proportion of total activity - which is easier said than done.

I am looking for a good ophthalmologist who does cataracts but so far have only come up with anecdotal information. Any suggestions?

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Responses

Response from

Thanks for your coments - and you ask some important questions.

Like most of us faced with hospital you want to find a consultant who you know is good. Unless you work in the NHS it is indeed hard to get good local information. Your GP may be a good place to start or a local or national patient group with an interest in eye problems might help.

And of course, in time, it is something that we want Patient Opinion to help with. Extending our service so that it includes data down to named consultants - which is what you want - is something we are actively planning. However data protection and the rights of individuals mean this is not straightforward which is why we have not tackled it yet.

So far as moans goes it's interesting - and encouraging - that more than half of all the postings we get (and we publish 95%) are appreciative or saying Thank You. Of the rest 25% are mixed and 25% critical. But even when people are being very critical they often also point out things that have been done well. Perhaps most important of all an increasing number of postings now get a response - either to explain the situation or to say what the hospital has done as a result of patient suggestions.

And of course what other people say about a service on Patient Opinion should only ever be part of how you choose - NHS statistics and surveys which are (or meant to be) balanced and representative are also really important.

Do tell us how your experience went when you have been to see about your cataract - after all its only by everyone sharing what happened that the NHS can learn what patients think of the service it offers.

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