latest health care news

26.03.18

CQC raises concern around online GP services as 43% of providers fall short on safety

The CQC has raised concerns that the quality of care provided through independently run apps or websites is still lagging behind in terms of safety.

In its review of online services that provide GP consultations and prescriptions online through, the health inspectorate said that though quality had improved over the last year, companies that provide these services still had work to do to bring safety standards up in line with regular general practice.

The review, based on 55 inspections, found that 97% of providers were ‘caring’, and 90% were meeting demands in being ‘responsive’ to patients’ needs.

However, though the CQC said these online services were capable of improving access to care for patients, it stated that it was concerned about the safety of some services.

Over two in five (43%) of providers inspected were found to not be delivering ‘safe’ care – as inspectors found issues with inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, unsatisfactory responses to safeguarding children, failure to collect patient information from GPs and inappropriate prescribing of medicine for patients with long-term conditions.

“New methods of service delivery that increase access to care and give patients more control over how and when they see a GP have huge potential not only for patients but for the wider health system,” professor Steve Field, chief inspector of General Practice at the Care Quality Commission, said.

“However, while innovation should be encouraged, it must never come at the expense of quality. As with all health care services, patient safety must be at the heart of all decisions around what kind of care is offered and how it is delivered.

 “We must all work together – providers by using our inspection findings to learn and improve, and oversight bodies by working together and continuing to have a positive dialogue with providers – to ensure that this model fulfils its promise of accessible, responsive care while ensuring that the care delivered is always safe and high quality.”

RCGP: Safety of services ‘very concerning’

Chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) Helen Stokes-Lampard also said it was “very concerning” that 42% of providers were not providing safe care.

“New services will inevitably experience some teething problems, but when our patients' health is at risk urgent, swift action must be taken to comprehensively address these before the service is rolled out further,” she warned.

“The inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, for example, poses risks to individual patients but also is of great concern to the wider public - and the failure to collect and share a patient's data with their NHS GP could certainly have a detrimental effect on their future care.”

Top image: megaflopp

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >

interviews

NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took st... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >