Telehealth GP Service is First to Pass CQC Inspection
Now Healthcare Group (NHG) is delighted to announce that it has become the first, and to date the UK’s only, telehealth (mHealth) GP service provider to be declared “safe” and meet all regulations set by the new digital health reporting guidelines, set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Following a recent inspection on 14 June, Now Healthcare Group was found to be meeting all necessary criteria across five categories, and was deemed to be providing services that are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led.
This makes NHG the first provider in its field to achieve a “five out of five” score under the CQC’s new digital methodology and guidelines for digital health providers, which were newly established earlier this year.
This news comes at a time when online health services are under high levels of scrutiny, with other high-profile providers recently being judged to be offering unsafe and ineffective care by the CQC.
Now Healthcare Group is well-known for its Dr Now and Now GP international mobile apps, which connect users to qualified NHS doctors remotely via video call and deliver medicines directly to the patient’s door. The services currently service two million users, growing to up to 20 million by the end of 2017.
The company has been working with the NHS for the past two years, servicing over 100,000 repeat prescriptions nationwide and is soon to release its new ground-breaking NHS supplied services platform which can be accessed by over 15 million people in the UK. (Announcement and launch in September 2017.)
It is also the only provider in its field to be part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme, aimed at utilising technology to drive innovation in the NHS.
Now Healthcare Group also recently received a £4 million minority investment from health cash plan provider, Medicash.
CEO and Founder of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, said:
“I am delighted that Now Healthcare Group has become the first digital health provider in its field to receive a “five out of five” report from the CQC. It demonstrates the incredible progress we are making as a healthcare provider and I would like to thank our team for their incredible hard work and dedication that has made this achievement possible.
“At a time when patient safety and digital health services are under high levels of scrutiny, it’s an incredible achievement to be the first telehealth GP service to be found to be meeting all necessary requirements. Hopefully this demonstrates to our public and private clients and partners that they are working with the UK’s most reputable provider and the clear industry-leader in this field.”
Head of Operations at Now Healthcare Group, Janet Smith, said:
“We’re thrilled that we have been recognised by the CQC as the first telehealth service to be meeting all regulations. It’s an accolade which demonstrates Now Healthcare Group’s continued hard work and commitment and shows what can be achieved when you put the patient at the forefront of everything that you do.”
About Now Healthcare Group
Now Healthcare Group has been a supplier to the NHS for over two years, processing and dispensing over 100,000 items. It is also Europe’s largest supplier of telehealth services and currently covers over two million people through partnerships with Cigna, Thomas Cook (internationally) and the Schools Advisory Service. Through these partnerships, NHG works with clients including Apple (Europe), IBM and Standard Life.
NHG anticipates that, through new contracts due to be announced shortly, its audience will be well over 20 million people by the end of 2017. NHG has also been featured in a number of publications and media outlets, including Forbes, BBC, ITV, The Guardian, The Times, USA Today and CNBC:
- FORBES: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimjay/2017/06/08/how-technology-might-spare-you-a-long-wait-to-see-your-doctor
- BBC RADIO 5 LIVE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHUtl0wsdEQ
- CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/09/can-medical-smartphone-apps-replace-your-doctor.html
- GUARDIAN: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/02/dr-now-smartphone-app-contact-gp-fee
- ITV: http://www.itv.com/lorraine/health/dr-hilary-is-on-the-pulse-august-6
CQC Inspection Report – Key Findings
“The service treated children and had systems in place to verify a child’s identity; which also included parental responsibility or legal guardianship.”
“The provider headquarters were located within modern, purpose built offices.”
“The provider expected that all GPs would conduct consultations in private and maintain the patient’s confidentiality.”
“All clinical consultations were rated by the GPs for risk. For example, if the GP assessed there may be serious mental or physical issues that required further attention… Consultation records could not be completed without a risk rating.”
“The service monitored risks through a variety of daily, weekly, monthly and annual checks, carried out by the administration and clinical management teams.”
“There were processes in place to manage any emerging medical concerns during a consultation and for managing test results and referrals.”
“The provider had a comprehensive recruitment and selection process in place for all staff.”
“We saw that the prescribing systems and processes in place kept patients safe… GPs working for the service were able to prescribe treatments in accordance with patient need and within a medicines formulary that the provider had risk assessed.”
“National guidance was being followed to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance developing.”
“The service allowed patients to either have their medicines dispensed via Now Pharmacy or prescriptions could be sent to a pharmacy of their choice for collection. The provider also offered a same day delivery service.”
“The provider had systems in place to protect all patient information and ensure records were stored securely.”
“Records of consultations, prescriptions and referrals were kept within the patient’s profile. The GPs had access to all the patient’s previous records from interactions with the service.”
“The provider was aware of and complied with the requirements of the Duty of Candour.”
“We reviewed 27 patient medical records that demonstrated that each GP assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with relevant and current evidence based guidance and standards, including National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) evidence based practice.”
“GPs providing the service…worked carefully to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks for patients.”
“The service had a programme of ongoing quality improvement activity. For example, audits, reviews of consultations, feedback to clinicians and reviews of prescribing trends.”
“We looked at 25 reviews, which were all positive; several of which cited a GP by name. Patients commented on the “great” service and stated the GPs were professional, knowledgeable, caring and “fantastic.” Patients expressed satisfaction that they felt listened to and that their condition had been assessed and explained.”
“Feedback from patients showed they felt their condition had been explained and they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment. We saw evidence of ‘spot check’ assessments of GP consultations which showed them involving patients in decisions about their care and treatment.”
“In cases where patients were away on holiday, prescriptions could also be delivered to a pharmacy outside of the UK, via a European Economic Area (EEA) prescription.”
“The provider told us they had a clear vision to work together to provide a high quality responsive service that put caring and patient safety at its heart.”