A new website that allows patients to rate the performance of GPs, consultants and surgeons will leave doctors open to personal attacks and abuse, the medical profession claims.
Feedback site iwantgreatcare.org has been launched by Neil Bacon, a hospital doctor for 18 years and until recently a renal specialist at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.
Richard Vautrey, the vice-chairman of the British Medical Association's GP committee, said: "There's a significant possibility of it being used in a malicious way, leading to doctors finding themselves under incredible stress and worry, and leaving them open to potential abuse from individuals with a vendetta.
"It would be of great concern if any doctor was put in jeopardy through a malicious campaign, maybe through viral email, to attack or undermine a doctor at a hospital or GP's practice, which could easily happen."
Dr Vautrey said patients who had suffered a bereavement or major trauma could be very hard to placate and often look for someone to blame.
"It is very difficult to find yourself in the firing line through no fault of your own," Dr Vautrey said. "It is unfair that patients posting comments are anonymous and that the information is subjective, with no evidence to support particular statements."
Dr Bacon has argued that the new website will force doctors to listen to patients and improve treatments.