The First Digital Health App to be Declared Safe by the CQC

We’ve been selected to establish best practice for digital healthcare and health apps in the UK under Jeremy Hunt’s new plans to bring health tech into the NHS.


Now Healthcare Group is delighted to announce that it is the first and only digital healthcare provider to meet all regulations set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent investigation.

This makes the Now Healthcare Group (NHG) the first mobile health app service to be declared “safe” by the CQC. Several other health apps have entered the marketplace recently, all of which have either not yet been inspected, are not registered or have not yet applied to register with the CQC.

As the first mobile health company to be visited by the regulatory body, Now Healthcare Group was exclusively selected for an Independent Health Pilot in order to assist the CQC in implementing best practice for health tech in the UK and laying the foundations for all future digital healthcare quality control.

NHG has received a Quality Report from the CQC, which recognises the tech company’s innovation, doctors, commitment to patient safety and service provision. The results of this investigation see NHG now setting the high standards which the rest of the digital health industry must adhere to going forwards.

now gp app

 

Now Healthcare Group is the company behind the revolutionary Now GP and Dr Now mobile health apps, which are the world’s first health apps to both diagnose and deliver medicines, connecting patients to NHS GPs via smartphone video call. The services currently serve over one million users, with insurers such as Thomas Cook and Cigna using the platform to provide their customers with convenient, flexible healthcare.

At a time when online pharmacies are under increasing scrutiny due to recent undercover investigations which revealed instances of over-diagnosis, the CQC has found that NHG is treating patients in line with best practice guidelines, maintaining appropriate medical records and constantly monitoring prescriptions and consultations. All GPs working for NHG are NHS GPs in their own right, and hold a minimum qualification of MRCGP.

This CQC approval demonstrates why NHG has recently been selected to work directly with the NHS as part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator programme, which will see the health tech company assist the health service through technology and continued innovation.

This exciting development follows Jeremy Hunt’s recent announcement at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, in which he stated that the NHS is to look towards mobile health technologies and apps in a bid to reduce the pressures on the current health system. Now GP/Dr Now is currently looking to provide white-labelled health apps to CCGs, surgeries and 111/out of hours services to help the NHS meet its seven day access targets.

example of a white-labelled now gp to be used by the nhs
The Now GP app can be white-labelled by CCGs and NHS surgeries to provide patients with a convenient primary care solution. PLEASE NOTE: These screenshots are for example purposes only.

Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group, Lee Dentith, made the following comment:

“Becoming the first mobile health service to meet CQC regulations demonstrates the positive steps Now Healthcare Group is making as a healthcare provider, and it’s an honour to be selected to set the high standards which the rest of the industry must now follow.

“This CQC Quality Report, coupled with our involvement with the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator, reaffirms my belief that our service will be fully implemented cross the whole of the NHS in the coming years. We are aiming to be able to provide 100 million consultations in the next 3-5 years and also want to capitalise on technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to help patients take better control of their healthcare and reduce pressures on the NHS.”


Example quotes from the CQC Quality Report:

“GPs told us that they received excellent support if there were any technical issues or clinical queries.”

“Patients were treated in line with best practice guidance and appropriate medical records were maintained.”

“There were clinical governance systems and processes in place to ensure the quality of service provision.”

“Prescribing was constantly monitored and all consultations were monitored for any risks.”

“We reviewed a sample of anonymised consultation records that demonstrated appropriate record keeping and patient treatment.”

“[The service] identified the need for patients who may be unable to get an appointment with their NHS GP or who prefer a more flexible service.”

“We reviewed three recruitment files which showed the necessary documentation was available.”

“We reviewed six anonymised medical records which demonstrated notes had been adequately completed. GPs had access to all previous notes within the Now GP / Dr Now system.”

“The doctors providing the service were aware of both the strengths (speed, convenience, choice of time), and the limitations (inability to perform physical examination) of working remotely from patients. They worked carefully to maximise the benefits and minimise the risk for patients.”

“The provider told us that they had a clear vision to work together to provide a high quality responsive service that put caring and patient safety at its heart.”

“There was a range of service specific policies and process flow charts which were available to all staff.”

“There were a variety of daily, weekly and monthly checks in place to monitor the performance of the service.”

“A comprehensive understanding of the performance of the service was maintained.”

“Care and treatment records were complete, legible and accurate, and securely kept.”

“The service consistently sought ways to improve. All staff were involved in discussions about how to run and develop the service, and were encouraged to identify opportunities to improve the service delivered.”

“As the management team and IT teams worked together at the HQ there was ongoing discussions at all times about service provision.”


For the latest news and updates on digital healthcare, follow @NowGP on Twitter.


10 Million Left Frustrated By Inconvenient NHS as Waiting Times Soar

In his regular blog, Founder and CEO of Now Healthcare Group Lee Dentith looks at the latest NHS news and why urgent action is needed to stop the system from reaching breaking point. 

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More and more people are now voicing their continued frustration with the National Health Service, with new damning research revealing that over ten million NHS patients per year are struggling to get an appointment with a GP. Crucially, it also reaffirms the fact that people in the United Kingdom are more dissatisfied with the service than ever before.

A mass survey of over one million patients has emphasised the problems that the NHS continues to face, with GP appointment waiting times, inconvenient opening hours and busy phone lines three of the most commonly-expressed complaints.

Incredibly, the number of patients who are forced to wait for one week or more to see a GP has risen by a third in just three years. This means that over ten million are unable to see a doctor in the same week when they fall ill.

The fact that the NHS is overstretched has long been known, but alarmingly this new report finds that some practices are closing for up to three and a half hours at lunchtime, or even closing up for full afternoons and weekends. With the number of patients unhappy with surgery hours rising to almost 75%, this is completely unacceptable, and cannot continue.


Here is a full breakdown of the shocking statistics uncovered by the survey (GP Patient Survey 2016):  

  • 18.7% of patients said their surgery was not open at convenient times – rising from 16% in 2012.
  • 18.1% of patients waited more than a week to see a GP – rising from 13.8% in just three years.
  • 11% of patients said they had failed to get an appointment at all – rising from 9.6% in 2012.
  • 10.8% said that GP receptionists were “unhelpful” – rising from 9.5% in 2012.
  • 25.8% said it was difficult to get through to a doctor’s surgery by telephone – a rise from 19.9% in 2012.

This makes for disturbing reading for patients and those involved in the healthcare industry. With growing reservations from GPs that David Cameron’s seven day onsite service ambitions would push an already struggling NHS closer to breaking point – especially if it were to be based on a continuation of its current model – these new figures will do little to convince us otherwise. Dissatisfaction with the NHS is rising, and rising at an incredible rate – we must implement major changes now to ensure that the nation is still provided with the healthcare system it deserves and that each person’s needs are catered for.

This is where Now GP is looking to change the current primary healthcare landscape. We’re looking to provide relief for our struggling NHS, with our mHealth solution able to provide GPs and surgeries with much-welcomed respite from  soaring demands, as well as offering patients an effective alternative to lengthy waiting times.

dr-now-app-screens

 

With an MRCGP-certified professional doctor available at the touch of a button, the Now GP app can eliminate those early morning phone calls to your surgery and the inconvenience of having to wait several days for an appointment. We’re also looking to combat the country’s growing problem of staff sickness, and can deliver medicines and prescriptions straight to a patient’s home or office.

Dr Maureen Baker, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told The Telegraph that the health service was working harder than ever to meet increasing demand but lacked the resources needed to allow them to do their jobs efficiently and thoroughly. We share their ambitions to turn things around for UK healthcare – that’s why we’re providing the Now GP app to patients to help alleviate the pressure on our hard-working doctors and to provide better access to healthcare for all. You can find out more on the Now GP website, www.nowgp.com

 


You can read more of Lee’s thoughts on Twitter and LinkedIn.