Push Doctor rated ‘good’ after previous concerns around ‘unsafe’ care


Online GP provider Push Doctor has been rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after being found to be delivering unsafe care in previous reports.

The latest report, published in June, found the provider had implemented previous advice on prescribing practice to bring them in line with national guidelines.

The inspection saw services rated ‘outstanding’ in leadership and ‘good’ overall when it came to safety of care, effectiveness of care and responsiveness.

But their children’s services was suspended after it was found parents had the authority not to share consultation information with the child’s NHS GP, raising safety concerns. Push Doctor confirmed they would undertake a retrospective review of all consultations with children who had accessed the service five times or more to mitigate any potential risks to that child.

The rating is a rapid turnaround for the provider who was previous found to be neither safe or effective.

A CQC inspection in March 2017 found blood thinners and antidepressants had been dished out without patients first being given the correct monitoring and blood tests.

Doctors from the service were also temporarily banned from treating children after some were found not to identify young patients.

A total of 137 prescriptions were dispensed for items on the provider’s ‘do not prescribe’ list in the 12 months before the inspection.

A following inspection in August 2018 found the provider had addressed majority of the issues previously flagged, but there were still issues surrounding the safety of their prescribing practice.

Inspectors found 13 cases where antibiotics prescribed were not appropriate and 10 cases where appropriate investigations and treatment had not been provided.

An antibiotic audit had been completed by the provider in April 2018, the report noted, which found only 18% had been prescribed in accordance with best practice guidelines, based on a sample of 50 consultations.

“The conclusion of the audit was that Push Dr GPs did not appear to be adhering to best practice guidance when prescribing antibiotics,” it said.

An action plan was put in place by the provider requiring their GPs to undertake additional training and the CQC issued direction to the provider to improve their adherence to best practice guidance when prescribing.

In the latest report the CQC found the culture of staff was now underpinned with the “ethos of patient safety first” and “comprehensive systems for the monitoring of service delivery were established”.

It also found the service had implemented action to meet requirements on prescribing, which were now deemed “safe and effective”.

Wais Shaifta, Push Doctor chief executive, pictured above, said: “We are really pleased with this report, as it is recognition of all the hard work we have put in to deliver a high quality service for our patients.

“I am particularly pleased the CQC have acknowledged our commitment to work in partnership with the NHS to deliver outstanding care, backed by our ‘patient safety first’ ethos.”

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