In a response to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) consultation on how to assess healthcare providers' quality of care, the BMA said an over-reliance on patient reporting would 'not be desirable'.
'There is a danger that the patient experience may be confused with quality of care and that doctors are rated for their popularity rather than the quality of their service,' the BMA response says.
It adds: 'That is not to say the patient experience is necessarily less important than clinical quality, particularly where the condition is less serious, rather that both need to be seen as separate entities.'
But the BMA said it was generally supportive of the CQC's shift in emphasis from targets to outcomes. It also said it would support the adoption of indicators that can provide clinicians with a 'clear steer' on how to improve services.