NHS IT, Records and Data

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 >

latest healthcare news

Council and NHS consider merging into a single public authority

20/09/2018Council and NHS consider merging into a single public authority

Scottish Borders Council has put forward plans for a single public authority in the region in a proposed submission to a local government review.... more >
Sir Robert Francis chosen as new Healthwatch chair

20/09/2018Sir Robert Francis chosen as new Healthwatch chair

Healthwatch England has appointed Sir Robert Francis QC as its new a chair, taking over from current chair Jane Mordue after her three-year tenur... more >
Integrated care systems ‘need dedicated funding and law changes to succeed’

20/09/2018Integrated care systems ‘need dedicated funding and law changes to succeed’

National health leaders need to invest time into developing appropriate legislation, reforming regulation, redesigning financial architectures an... more >

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 th... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now bey... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

19/09/2018Lord Darzi: Seize the opportunity

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham is the Paul Hamlyn chair of surgery at Imperial College, a surgeon working in the NHS and, from 2007-09, was health minister under Labour. Here, he highlights the importance of innovation in the NHS, and the exciting prospects it might bring if we’re brave enough to seize the opportunities ahead. S... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

The Hospital Energy Project

19/09/2018The Hospital Energy Project

The Hospital Energy Project is an ambitious engineering scheme to replace outdated systems at Oxford University NHS FT’s hospitals and redu... more >
Social media's role in health

19/09/2018Social media's role in health

Social media has a massive role to play in health – infection prevention and control in particular, write Brett Mitchell, professor of nurs... more >
Dickson: Hancock finds an NHS in need of digital rebirth

19/09/2018Dickson: Hancock finds an NHS in need of digital rebirth

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, takes a look at Matt Hancock's priorities and agenda around workforce, technology and pr... more >
GDEs: Never stop learning

19/09/2018GDEs: Never stop learning

Paul Charnley, director of IT and information at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS FT, discusses what his organisation has learnt from bein... more >

interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >

health service focus

View all News