CREDIT: This story was first seen in The Bolton News
An internet based clinic which had its registration suspended for three months is back online after getting a clean bill of health by inspectors who found it was now operating in line with ‘best practice’ and national guidelines, The Bolton News reports.
Treated.com — which operates an online clinic for patients providing consultations and prescriptions and medicines — was suspended by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after it was found to be in breach of regulations following an inspection in November last year. CQC inspectors found then that risks to patients were not appropriately assessed or managed and some non-clinical staff with no formal training assessed patients’ needs.
After addressing the breaches it is live — with say operators of the site, with a ‘new improved service model’
HR Healthcare, based in Water Meeting, Britannia Way, which operates the Treated.com platform, asked for the suspension period to be extended to six months to it says “carry out a comprehensive and wide-ranging reassessment of their systems and processes; and implement measures which would meet — and, where possible, exceed — the standards set by the regulator”.
The CQC has now reinspected the service and Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice, said: “The service is no longer suspended and it able to operate.”
In all the areas inspected, related to services being safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs and well-led, inspectors found that ‘all the required improvements had been made ’.
It was found there were ‘ clearly defined and embedded systems, processes and systems in place to keep patients safe and safeguarded from abuse ’; as well as: ‘ a system in place to monitor prescribing to ensure it was in line with best practice and NICE guidelines.’
Registered Manager for HR Healthcare, Riaz Vali, said: “Not all online pharmacies and clinics choose to register with the CQC. However, we strive to provide the very best care possible to our patients; and we recognise that in order to do this, meeting the standards set by the Care Quality Commission is an essential requirement.
“As such, following the inspection last November, we welcomed their recommendations, and got straight to work .
“We implemented a range of new measures in our operations and practices, which have been reflected in the report. Patients returning to our site will see that we have overhauled our consultation process, and remodelled our questionnaires with the help of independent clinicians to make them more accessible, responsive and user-friendly.
He added: “We consider the introduction of the CQC’s new guidelines for online prescribers to be a welcome development for online healthcare as a whole. As the industry develops, these
standards will play a vital role in helping patients to easily identify services which are reputable and adhering to safe practices.
“We hope that these new guidelines, along with the publication of our inspection report, will help patients to realise that using a registered, regulated online pharmacy service such as ours can be a safe and effective means of getting access to prescription treatments.”