The Department of Health has launched an online service that allows patients to rate their GPs.

Patients can comment on how easy it is to get an appointment, staff conduct and patient involvement at any of England’s 8,269 GP practices. People can recommend their local medical centre or criticise it, although abusive comments and those that mention staff by name will be removed.

The tool, which is part of the NHS Choices website, is similar to the hospital comparison service launched in the summer.

Health minister Mike O’Brien said: “It will help drive up quality across the board, and is another step in ensuring we have a modern NHS which reflects the needs of the patient.”

Family Doctor Association chairman Dr Peter Swinyard said: “Patient feedback on GP services is an effective way of driving up the standards of primary care even further.”