Hospital comparison site should not be excuse for centralisation, Scottish Lib Dems say
A comparison website that will allow patients to compare hospitals across Scotland is expected to be launched within weeks
A website that will allow patients to compare treatments at different hospitals should not be used as a basis for more centralisation of services, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have said.
The comparison site will enable people to see how well their local hospital is doing by providing data on, for example, numbers of procedures being carried out as well as readmission and infection rates for common operations.
Patients will then be able to request their operation from a different hospital if they wish.
The website is expected to go live within weeks and will start with the number of people undergoing joint replacements and cataract removals in different parts of Scotland, with more data to be added before the end of the year.
Ahead of the launch of the website, chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood told The Times it was part of her drive for ‘realistic medicine’ – which focuses on empowering patients and putting the person needing care at the centre of decisions.
Calderwood told the paper: “I did not like feeling I was in a privileged position because of my medical training.
“Why wouldn’t a patient have the same information?”
Responding to plans for the creation of the new website, Scottish Lib Dem health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said the easier it was for patients to access information on waiting times, infection rates and staffing, the better.
But he added: “It’s critical, however, that the government doesn’t use this ranking database as the foundation for yet more centralisation.
“We want to see services across the country be the best they can be.
“People in remote and rural areas have the right to expect quality care close to home.”
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