CQC 2019 inspection – report summary and commentary
CQC carried out an announced comprehensive inspection of LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor’s service on 17 September 2019. This was part of CQC’s second round of inspections in their inspection programme for Online Primary Care Services, and the first time these services were given a quality rating by CQC.
CQC rated our service as Good overall. The key questions were rated as:
- Are services safe? – Good
- Are services effective? – Good
- Are services caring? – Good
- Are services responsive? – Good
- Are services well-led? – Outstanding
CQC described us as “an online (digital) GP service that offers a range of general medical services that include postal testing, remote treatment and remote advice.” and noted that the fee-based service can be accessed by UK-based patients through this LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor website. CQC clarified that they did not inspect LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor’s affiliated pharmacies which are based throughout England.
Following this 2019 inspection, CQC summarised findings in their report as follows:
- The senior management team demonstrated they were a driving force dedicated to delivering the mission of the service. All staff we spoke to felt valued by the leaders and said there was a high level of staff support, engagement and development.
- Patients safety was their priority. The service had good systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen. When they did happen, the service learned from them and improved their processes.
- The service routinely reviewed the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provided. It ensured that care and treatment was delivered according to evidence-based guidelines.
- Patients could access care and treatment from the service within an appropriate timescale for their needs.
- There was a strong focus on continuous learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation. They effectively used the skills and abilities of their staff team to provide innovative and accessible care, treatment and support to their patients.
- The service had comprehensive business development strategy and quality improvement plan that effectively monitored the service provided to assure safety and patient satisfaction.
- There was a commitment and appetite to work with external partners including the NHS and the third sector to share learning and make the service as accessible as possible.
CQC went on to summarise that they saw the following areas of outstanding practice:
- There was a ‘Get-Grow-Keep’ strategy where they developed staff skills, competence and knowledge and encouraged staff development opportunities linked to the strategy. They had sponsored one of their GPs to receive training to develop an algorithm to ensure advice and information is given in digestible bite sized chunks throughout the interactive consultation as well as the information being saved in the patient record for later reference.
- The provider demonstrated commitment to system-wide collaboration and leadership. The provider was part of the Sexual Health London (SHL) joint commissioning model, which included an NHS Trust and an integrated diagnostic company who provided remote/self-sampling sexual health services. This has allowed them to improve the process of follow-up and referring patients back to NHS clinics. This is the first collaborative commissioning model of its kind across London and in UK as a whole.
- The provider held quarterly external education activities for GPs free of charge. The most recent education session covered Digital health – the changing face of medicine, Heart Rhythm Disorders and Women’s Health Update. These are usually attended by 30 - 40 GPs.
Prior to this inspection, CQC previously inspected our service in May 2017 in their first round of benchmark inspections for Online Primary Care Services – see our 2017 inspection report summary.
You can view any of CQC’s comprehensive inspection reports on our service pages on CQC’s website at any time.