Updated 4 June 2019
Index Medical Limited is based in Bristol. Index Medical Limited set up an online service in 2010 which includes a remote consultation with a GP. We did not inspect the provider’s affiliated pharmacy which is regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council. We inspected both online services known as Dr Fox online doctor and pharmacy and Fast Doctor at the following address where the provider is registered to provide services from:
60, City Road, St Pauls, Bristol, BS2 8TX
Index Limited does not see or treat patients in person at its premises. All consultations are provided remotely via a secure online portal and assessed by a team of GPs. Patients can complete an online questionnaire which is assessed by the GPs and a prescription issued if appropriate. Dr Fox and Fast Doctor had approximately 366,000 patients registered at the time of the inspection. The service can be accessed through their websites, www.doctorfox.co.uk and www.fastdr.com where patients can place orders for medicines.
The service is not intended to be used in an emergency and patients under the age of 18 are not treated. On the website patients complete a consultation questionnaire to assess their eligibility before selecting the required medicine. Patients do not have to pay to register with the service to do this. Patients pay for their medicines when making their on-line application. If approved by the prescriber, medicines via the Dr Fox website are dispensed, packed and delivered by a third party tracked and secure courier service. Medicines prescribed via the Fast Doctor website are collected from an affiliated pharmacy chosen by the patient at the time of ordering. If GPs reject a prescription request, refunds are made to the patient at this point. The service is available for patients in the UK only. Patients can access the service by phone from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
At the time of the inspection there were two directors of the service supported by three contracted GPs. They also employed a head of governance and two administrators.
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 and members of the management and administration team and one of the four GP’s who carried out consultations.
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.