HSJ readers have been given the exclusive opportunity to help determine the metrics which will be used in this year’s Dr Foster Hospital Guide.

The guide measures the performance of all English acute trusts, using a series of metrics developed by Imperial College London and through dialogue with other academic bodies, including the US Agency for Healthcare Research Quality.

This is the first time Dr Foster has made the methodologies it intends to use to produce the guide’s results available for pre-publication comment and consultation.

The consultation runs until 3 September.

Last year’s hospital guide received high profile national media coverage when it claimed there were significant shortcomings in the patient safety record of NHS trusts. However, Dr Foster also received considerable criticism from some trusts, which disputed the guide’s findings.

Dr Foster research director Roger Taylor said: “Dr Foster is committed to transparency and public information, which is why we publish all of our methodologies online and, once a year, the main results of our analyses in the Hospital Guide.”

“By publishing details of the indicators we are considering including in the 2010 Hospital Guide we are consulting more widely than ever before and giving everyone in the industry a chance to comment. The feedback we receive will help us and the Dr Foster Unit at Imperial College London shape the indicators and the guide.”

Dr Foster consults on the Good Hospital guide