The Healthcare Commission today launched a new web service designed to allow the public to make easy national and local comparisons about the state of NHS services.

The Healthcare Commission today launched a new web service designed to allow the public to make easy national and local comparisons about the state of NHS services.

The new service allows users to enter their postcode or the name of local health services to bring up a list of local trusts.

The site sets out a series of six basic questions patients might want to ask about a trust, such as how clean is it, how long are waits and will I be treated with respect?

Information is presented in words and charts to allow comparisons.

Other functions allow users to compare trusts and aspects of services, such as children's services.

Information manager Paul Targett said the site contained 500,000 pieces of information, and was developed in careful consultation with the public and patients.

He predicted that the site will be useful to health campaigners and patient support groups.