CQC 2017 inspection – report summary and commentary
In May 2017, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out a comprehensive inspection of LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. CQC reported that we provide safe, effective, caring and responsive services that are well led in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations. You can find the inspection report here.
The inspection team was comprised of a CQC Lead Inspector, a second CQC Inspector, a CQC Director, a Pharmacist Specialist and two GP Specialist Advisors, who visited our office and spoke with many members of staff.
The first area looked at was safety. The CQC found that we employ enough GPs to meet patient demand, and was satisfied that each of our GPs had received the appropriate training. That we kept clear records of prescriptions, and properly checked patient identity before commencing treatment.
The inspection was also satisfied with the efficacy of our service, noting that our consultation templates had been peer-reviewed both internally and externally by doctors. The report noted that we audited our procedures to improve effectiveness – in the case of emergency contraception, we found that our pregnancy rates were lower than the national average and that this may be due to morning after pills being available from Sainsbury’s stores that had extended opening hours.
Another aspect of the inspection was the degree to which we were found to be caring; the report made reference to our internal staff audits, which were put in place to ensure all employees maintain high standards of customer service and care. Patient feedback was also considered, and attention drawn to the fact that 95% of patients would recommend our service to friends or family.
In assessing how responsive our service is to patient needs, the CQC inspection took note of the amount of information available on our site, and the ability to order an item for delivery or pick it up from a LloydsPharmacy store. We have 1,500 stores around the country, and are uniquely positioned amongst our competitors to offer same-day access to treatment. Our pharmacy network also allows us to blend the convenience of our online service with crucial face-to-face care; as noted in the CQC report, “Patients receiving contraception medicines are required to attend the pharmacy to have their blood pressure and weight checked.”
Lastly, our service was found to be well led. Our management structure was deemed effective and staff were found to be happy, supported, and well-equipped to give feedback. All patient information was found to be stored safely, ensuring confidentiality.
Most encouragingly, the report picked up on our ability to resolve issues quickly and safely. Following the initial inspection, we responded quickly to the CQC’s feedback, putting in place several changes to improve our service. In one instance, we made an alteration to our service to ensure that prescriptions requiring height and weight checks could not be accessed until accurate readings had been taken and entered into the system.
These kinds of changes are constantly being implemented, whether in response to official inspections, patient feedback or input from our staff. Though we are delighted with the results of the CQC’s report, we will strive to maintain our high standards and remain open to feedback and change.