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Online healthcare services

Published:
3 March 2017
Categories:
  • Public,
  • Remote clinical advice

Our inspections of some companies providing online primary care have found significant concerns about patient safety.

Well-run services can offer a convenient and effective form of treatment, but inspectors found services that were putting patients at risk of harm by selling medicines without doing enough to check they were appropriate. We are publishing reports from two urgent inspections today - in both cases the providers have stopped providing services in England.

Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, said: “As with conventional GP surgeries, online companies and pharmacies are required to provide safe, high-quality and compassionate care and must adhere to exactly the same standards. They must not cut corners.”

Following a review of all online services registered with us we have brought forward our inspection programme. We have prioritised inspections of services we think may present a significant risk to patients.

Today we have:

  • Published advice for people considering using an online doctor.
  • Issued a joint statement with the General Medical Council, the General Pharmaceutical Council, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to remind clinicians and service providers that they must continue to follow professional guidelines.
  • Published information on how we inspect and regulate digital primary care providers.
Last updated:
29 May 2017