A new website, which allows patients to access performance data for almost 5,000 surgeons in England, has been launched by the NHS in a bid to improve transparency

MyNHS will allow patients to review and compare various NHS services including individual hospital performance, mental health care and public health and information on specific surgeons. From December 2014 the data will also include the risk rating for GP practices.

Aimed at improving transparency and clarity for NHS patients, the plans have met criticism from some surgeons who believe that the changes could result in surgeons refusing difficult cases to avoid damaging results about their performance being published.

One of the main drivers for a move towards greater transparency in the NHS has been the failings at Stafford Hospital and the Francis inquiry which followed.

Linda Millband, joint head of the firm’s clinical negligence team, and based at Thompsons Solicitors’ Nottingham office, said: “Allowing patients access to this information is imperative in helping to promote transparency across the NHS. MyNHS offers patients a simple and easy route to access important information about the quality of care delivered by the NHS and should help with sharing best practice between NHS staff and services.

“While there has been criticism surrounding the new database, with claims that data about individual surgeons may be ‘misleading’, the information provides clarity and confidence to patients who may be feeling vulnerable if they are about to undergo medical treatment.

“In light of the Mid Staffordshire Hospital scandal, the new service could also help to identify widespread malpractice, and ultimately help to prevent another scandal of this scale or indeed any devastating case of medical negligence.”