GPs and all other NHS providers should be mandated to publish routine, standardised data on their outcomes, according to the chairman of health information firm Dr Foster.

Tim Kelsey told E-Health Insider Live ’09 that only English hospitals currently publish outcomes data and the next government should ‘force the pace.’

He said a future government should ensure the data infrastructure also covered mental health, community care, social care and most importantly primary care.

“We have literally no idea about quality of outcomes in primary care,” he said.

“GPs do have to compile Quality and Outcomes Framework data but in my view and many others QoF does not constitute a proper insight into outcomes.”

Kelsey said GPs should publish weekly information on their websites, including the patient experience ratings they had received in the previous seven days.

He argued that doctors needed to be incentivised to publish data which he said could be taken straight from the information they provide for revalidation.

Kelsey was brought in by the Department of Health to set up NHS Choices and said an audit carried out during the development phase found more than 50% of the information on the website that preceded it was inaccurate.

“You wouldn’t use Expedia if you knew the flight times or the destinations were wrong and yet poor quality information is extremely common in the NHS.”

Kelsey said his website, Dr Foster, and mortality data released by the DH last year made England ‘a world leader’ on the publication of hospital outcomes information. In contrast, he said countries that were still refusing to publish information included Wales, the US, Italy and Spain.

However, he said he was hopeful that if the Conservatives are elected in England next year they will introduce a consumer revolution. To support it, he called on any future government to mandate the publication of detailed standardised outcome information on a monthly basis.

He said central government needed to leave the local NHS to innovate rather than trying to deliver top-down solutions and that a market needed to be created for smaller, innovative businesses to be able to deliver their services in the NHS.

He added: “We as patients and citizens also need to refuse to tolerate the kind of Victorian-type practices that we come across in the NHS. The NHS needs to treat us like consumers and engage with us more personally.”

“If people refuse they should simply not be allowed to treat patients in the NHS,” he added.

He said the obstacles he identified included concern over data sharing, poor quality data and a lack of capability in the NHS.

He added: “I recently interviewed 20 or so primary care trust chief executives, and although they all identified the importance of the digital agenda almost all of them had no idea where to start."