Responding to online comments about your practice

This is a reminder for practices about what they can do if they receive notification of negative comments posted on the NHS Choices website

We understand practices are notified of a comment relating to them following the publication of the comment. An alert is sent to a named recipient at the practice in question (designated by the practice). Practices then have a number of options:

  1. Post a reply, in order to put across the practice’s views, demonstrate you are listening (which doesn’t have to mean you agree with the comment) and are dealing with any issues raised. This will appear immediately below the original comment.

    Practices should carefully consider how they wish to deal with any negative comments. A prompt response inviting the person who made the comment to contact the practice to discuss their views is a powerful reputation management tactic and a useful defence against an unfair comment. Being proactive can only enhance the perception of the practice in the eyes of the public. Ensure any responses are professional and factual rather than aggressive or defensive.

  2. Report the comment to the website moderator as unsuitable.
  3. Some practices prefer to ignore comments, however, this can backfire on the practice – it can look as if the practice doesn’t listen or care about how the practice may be perceived. It is also a missed opportunity to point out all the good things you are doing. As it is free advertising, turn it on its head and use it. After all, if a comment was made in person in the surgery, they wouldn’t be ignored.

NHS Choices have a comments policy on their website which states that should a comment be flagged by a practice as unsuitable, then this will alert their moderators to take down the comment, consider it, and then either remove it or reinstate it as they deem appropriate.

The following NHS Choices guidance may assist practices in managing any comments they receive:

It is also worth reading the advice from Google about responding to online reviews as patients can leave comments on various sites that you may not be aware of.

Practices may also have a Facebook business page created without their knowledge when a patient creates a ‘check-in’ on Facebook. Details of how to take control of an ‘unmanaged business page’ on Facebook are here. Having control of the page allows the practice to reply to comments as the business owner. Practices may wish to set up their own Facebook business page to pre-empt the automatic creation of one or at least make occasional checks to see if one has been created and what comments have been left on it.

If you need any further advice on NHS Choices comments or managing patient feedback please contact our GP Support team (gpsupport@lmc.org.uk).

Last updated : 18 Apr 2018

 

Seven London hospital trusts cease to accept paper referrals in June or July (21 May 2018)

From the 1 October eRS will be the only route for GP to Consultant-led first outpatient appointments, as part of the Standard Contract 2018/2019. However, Trusts have staggered paper switch-off...
Read more »

LMC election nominations close on 1 June 2018 (21 May 2018)

There is just over one week left to stand for election to your local medical committee. If you are a GP working in London, please consider standing for election onto...
Read more »

GDPR goes live 25 May 2018 – latest guidance for practices (21 May 2018)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in less than 48 hours (25 May 2018). We have produced a round-up of a significant amount of guidance to help...
Read more »

Thank you to those who responded to our data-validation exercise (21 May 2018)

A big thank you to all the practices who responded to the data validation exercise, which ran between January-March 2018. We asked practices to confirm the details of the GPs...
Read more »

Tips of the month May 2018 (21 May 2018)

We provide weekly tips based on common queries which come through to us from London GPs and practice teams. These are shared via social media and collated for...
Read more »

Free leadership coaching available for practice teams in London (18 May 2018)

The London Leadership Academy, a pan-London leadership development organisation, working across all NHS organisations offers a free coaching service for GPs and practice team members working in the NHS. Recent...
Read more »

Londonwide LMCs’ Buying Group new shredding service – sign up now (18 May 2018)

Almost a fifth of our practices have signed up to the new Londonwide LMCs’ Buying Group which means they can take advantage of offers such as a new shredding service...
Read more »

NHS Digital to increase threshold for data sharing with the Home Office (18 May 2018)

NHS Digital will now only share patient information with the Home Office in cases where an individual is being considered for deportation due to “serious criminality”. Previously NHS Digital had...
Read more »

Acting as a supervisor for a doctor with conditions (18 May 2018)

This month our GP support team pose a challenge: Ask not what your LMC can do for you – ask what you can do for your professional colleagues.  Background GPs are...
Read more »
Next Page »