The online pharmacy and primary care service provided by high street pharmacy Boots has been described as providing “safe, effective, caring and responsive and well-led services” in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection report.
The service, which offers consultations with GPs and online prescribing by pharmacists, was given a very positive report by the CQC which has brought forward its inspections of all 43 registered online primary care services following concerns over some of the online firms’ activities.
In March 2017, the CQC, jointly with four regulatory bodies including the General Pharmaceutical Council, issued a warning to the UK population to exercise caution when buying medication online because of safety concerns.
It suspended the registration of one online primary care service and another voluntarily cancelled its registration.
The CQC report into the Boots online service, ‘The Boots Company PLC inspection report’, published on 18 August 2017, found that each pharmacist independent prescriber “assessed patients’ needs and delivered care in line with relevant and current evidence-based guidance and statements”.
It said the service employed enough pharmacist prescribers to meet the demands of the service and that prescribing was constantly monitored with all consultations monitored for risks.
Pharmacist prescribers undertook online consultations in a private room at the service headquarters and Boots carried out random spot checks to ensure they were complying with expected service standards and communicating appropriately with patients.
A patient survey showed that patients were happy with the level of care they received.
The CQC made two recommendations for improvement by the Boots online service: that it should review its identity-checking system to minimise possible fraud; and that it should improve identification of ‘significant events’ so that appropriate action is taken and that staff can learn from the error.