A health service regulator has suggested that social media may be monitored for signs of unrest and complaints, it has been reported.
Peter Wyman, the new chairman of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says social media will be used to learn about failings within the NHS.
Technology offers “great potential… to capture people’s views”, Wyman told the Daily Telegraph.
The hospital, GP and care home regulator should make better use of official data, such as mortality statistics, Wyman said in the interview. He added that there were an “awful lot of ways to capture what people are saying” – including Facebook and formal complaints.
“We live in a world of big data, we need to be able to capture it and analyse it intelligently,” he said.
The CQC is currently looking preparing a future strategy for the organisation which will be published in May. Wyman’s plans are thought to be part of the consultation behind this strategy.
The regulator expects its budget to be cut from £249m in the current financial year to £217m in 2019-20. Smart use of data may well be used to offset a reduction in physical inspections in order to balance the books.
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