Updated 7 June 2019
Health Bridge Limited London (Health Bridge) launched an online doctor service in 2011. The provider (Health Bridge Limited) registered with the Care Quality Commission in 2011 to provide Diagnostic and Screening procedures and Treatment of Disease, Disorder, Injury (TDDI). Health Bridge currently trades under the following website names: ‘Zava’ (www.zavamed.com), ‘Dr Ed’ () and www.onlinedoctor.superdrug.com on behalf of Superdrug Stores PLC (Superdrug). Dr Ed provides a service for residents of, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland. whilst Zava provides a service for residents of UK, Germany and France. The Superdrug online doctor service is available for use by UK residents.
Health Bridge has had a business relationship with Superdrug since 2013 and operates the website, on behalf of customers of Superdrug. Health Bridge clinical and customer services staff are responsible for handling the treatment requests from patients whilst the dispensing and dispatching of medicines is undertaken by Superdrug.
The service is open for consultations, for Zava and Superdrug between 9am and 6pm on weekdays 9am to 5pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Since the commencement of Health Bridge Ltd's online doctor service in 2011 the provider has undertaken over two and a half million consultations. It is not an emergency service.
The provider carries out asynchronous (text-based consultation which did not take place in real time) consultations and the doctors contact patients where necessary to clarify answers given. Patients are required to complete a general medical questionnaire to register with the service. For each consultation the patient selects a treatment available on the service’s website and completes the appropriate questionnaire. The choice of treatments available include: erectile dysfunction; premature ejaculation; hair loss; contraceptive pill; emergency contraception (morning after pill); cystitis; period delay; bacterial vaginosis; female facial hair; rosacea; cold sore; migraine; traveller’s diarrhoea; hay fever; blood pressure; asthma; diabetes; acne; smoking cessation; anti-malaria; genital herpes and genital warts; and jet lag. The service also offers a limited range of tests, including tests for: HIV; Hepatitis; Syphilis; Gonorrhoea; and Chlamydia.
Once a patient has completed and submitted a request, the doctors review the completed questionnaire and determine the appropriateness of the treatment for the patient. If the doctor assesses the patient request to be clinically appropriate, they approve the request and the patient will receive the treatment. Alternatively, the doctor can request further information from the patient via their online patient record or by telephone. If the doctor decides not to prescribe a requested medicine, the patient is sent an email message to their secure patient account stating the order will not be fulfilled and a refund is processed. The cost of the service for patients includes the price of the medicine ordered in the UK.
Patients can choose to have the prescription sent to their preferred pharmacy
How we inspected this service
Before the inspection we gathered and reviewed information from the provider. During this inspection we spoke to the Registered Manager, doctors employed by the service and members of the management and administration team.
To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we ask the following five questions:
- Is it safe?
- Is it effective?
- Is it caring?
- Is it responsive to people’s needs?
- Is it well-led?
These questions therefore formed the framework for the areas we looked at during the inspection.