NHS Direct, Tripadviser and bad reviews

By | 13th June 2012

Victor MeldrewI’ve been writing these Newsletters for years – one a month and we’re onto edition 171.

I guess that each one is read by about a hundred people, but and here’s the rub, I think they’re the same hundred people – so over the 13 years I’ve been offloading my frustrations I’m known to about 2 -300 readers as that disgruntled Victor Meldrew like GP who has a problem with politicians, bureaucrats and authority.

My wife has focussed her literary aspirations and channelled her frustrations into an altogether different area. She offloads onto Trip Advisor.

Actually I think that’s being unfair, because although I undoubtedly offload onto you my long suffering and I suspect ever diminishing readership, it would be more accurate to say that Sue informs on Trip Advisor.

Trip Advisor

Trip AdvisorI have a degree of respect for Trip Advisor, when going anywhere it has become an almost essential read. Getting consumer feedback gives you a far better idea of what a place is really like as opposed to the glossy read on their own website. So far, I have never been tempted to offer any of my own opinions. But that might be about to change.

After we returned from a lovely holiday in the Caribbean I noticed that Sue received some feedback about her articles from Tripadviser. To my amazement one of her reviews had been read by over 2000 people within a couple of weeks of it being posted!!! I can only dream of such an audience. There is no doubt that Tripadviser now has a huge impact on our holidays and all aspects of the entertainment industry.

It’s a shame people can’t also comment on their doctors as well. That way my readership might increase a little but I think prospective patients would get a better impression of the service than reading the reviews on NHS Choices.

NHS Choices

NHS ChoicesBefore last week we had amassed 12 reviews over the whole of the last 3 years on NHS choices. They were all universally positive.

Alas our reputation has been well and truly spoilt by the latest review. Anonymous from somewhere (but I suspect not Bournemouth) was more than a little cheesed off that he was unable to register with the practice – he made some fair comments about NHS choices apparently giving the impression that he could register with us and our website could be a little clearer about the practice area, and finally our receptionist could have been a little less blunt in advising him that he did not live in our area.


All of these matters have been addressed. But it is a little rich that we were then marked down on our access and other factors which can only be assessed if you’ve actually stepped inside the building. Now we could do as other local practices have done and simply ask for any adverse comments to be removed. But I feel very strongly that that makes a mockery of the whole system.

Nonetheless there is no doubt that 12 comments in 3 years (and we have more comments that any other practice) and no control or audit over the veracity of comments does suggest that NHS choices is not fit for purpose.

I think its high time that Trip Adviser was invited to take over. If only for the sake of restoring some literary balance in the Cowley household.

One thought on “NHS Direct, Tripadviser and bad reviews

  1. John Dale

    Hi Doc,

    One more reader from sunny Milton Keynes. Great info for me, although little perplexed by title as there was nothing about NHS Direct in the story. Have you got this confused with NHS Choices?

    It is excellent news to hear that you have recognised and dealt with the issues that your frustrated enquirer had brought up. Customer Service people like me love to see that peoples issues have been dealt with and also that you are prepared to share them with us so that others can learn.

    I agree that Choices ratings (as Trip Advisors ratings can) suddenly take a dive when things like this happen and agree that the system needs to change so that when you have addressed the issues this can be feed in shown to the public and your scores on the doors restored to more meaningful data.

    Although sparked by incorrect info on NHS Choices (not unusual) it did appear to highlight one or two issues in your own practice, therefore a good exercise in customer relations but by the sound of it well met. Nice to see somebody willing to share these things as most don’t.


    PS suggest you see if this blog text choice could be changed as font’s with serif’s are not good for the visually impaired. Hope that helps.

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