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What we will inspect: online primary care

  • Organisations we regulate

Information from our monitoring activity helps to determine the type of inspection and what we will look at.

Assessment framework

To direct the focus of their inspection, our inspection teams use a set of key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) that directly relate to the five key questions – are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? For online primary health care inspections, we will use the standard KLOEs for healthcare services.

Each KLOE is accompanied by a number of questions that inspection teams will consider as part of the assessment. We call these prompts. In addition to the prompts that accompany the standard KLOEs, we have developed a set of prompts specifically tailored for providers of online primary care. We have also published guidance on common issues arising from inspections.

Our inspection teams will consider the information and data gathered when preparing for the inspection to decide which of the prompts they will use to help them make a judgment on the KLOEs.

Types of inspection


Comprehensive inspections address all five key questions and relevant legal requirements. They ask: is the service safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led? We will always carry out a comprehensive inspection of services that have not had a first inspection or received an initial rating. These are usually announced in advance.


In some circumstances we will carry out a focused inspection rather than a comprehensive inspection.

This will be when we need to follow up on an area of concern. This could be either a concern identified during a previous comprehensive inspection, which has resulted in enforcement action, or concerns that have been raised with us by the public, staff, other regulators or stakeholders, or through our monitoring activity.

Focused inspections do not usually look at all five key questions. They usually focus only on the areas indicated by the information that triggers the inspection.

Although they are smaller in scope, a focused inspection broadly follows the same process as a comprehensive inspection. The reason for the inspection determines many aspects, such as the scale of the inspection, when to visit, what evidence needs to be gathered, the size of the team and which specialist advisors to involve.

These inspections may be announced or unannounced, depending on the focus of the inspection. When a focused inspection identifies further significant concerns, it may trigger a comprehensive inspection.

Last updated:
27 March 2019


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