If you are thinking of using an online clinic this guide can help you identify the legitimate service providers.
The 10 point check can help patients choose an online clinic. If you find a provider that has all of these points covered and obvious on their website, then they are more likely to provide a safe and effective service.
- CQC Registered
- Company Details Published
- SSL certificate
- Published terms and conditions
- Patient Guide
- Complaints procedure
- Dispensing Pharmacy information
- A good quality online experience
- Information on conditions and medications
- Service Reviews, Trust Pilot or similar
PrivateDoc Limited satisfies the 10 point check and as a patient you will find that you have access to all the information you need to use our service. Our UK GMC online doctors are here to ensure you get the best care for your condition and to support your treatment choices when treatment is appropriate and safe to prescribe.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulate, inspect and review all adult social care services in the public, private and voluntary sectors in England. Legitimate online providers will be registered with the CQC under the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
Your first step should be to check an online clinic’s registration with the CQC, this is a good way to ensure that the provider meets the essential government standards of care. The online clinic should display their provider id clearly and link to the CQC to demonstrate the authenticity. It is a criminal offence to run an online clinic in the UK, providing care services without being registered with the CQC.
PrivateDoc is registered with the CQC as part of our 100% legal and transparent service.
Information on conditions and medications
The internet is a fantastic source of information and a reputable online clinic will provide as much information as possible about the conditions that they provide treatment for and the medications they supply. Information on medication, its effectiveness and any potential side effects are essential to ensure a patient has the appropriate information to provide informed consent to use the service and receive medications provided.
Any claims that seem to good to be true probably are, particularly around cures for conditions that really only can be treated. At all times PrivateDoc will ensure that your expectations are managed and you have access to all the information you require.
Company Details Published
Whenever you use an online clinic you need to understand who is providing the service. All reputable providers will publish their company details, with addresses and telephone numbers to enable a patient or member of the public to easily make contact.
If you intend to receive online treatment you need to be assured of who is providing this, and it should be easy to find and contact the company. All patients can contact PrivateDoc via our contact us page. PrivateDoc’s company and legal information can be found on our Legal page.
When using the internet you should always check that you have a secure connection when you are using credit card services, or entering personal details online. PrivateDoc protects your use of the site with an SSL Certificate, with all of your use of the site protected once you are logged in. An extended SSL certificate clearly identifies the business it has been issued to and it is good practice to secure all users’ use of a website with this.
A legitimate business will have no issues with being issued with an Extended SSL certificate and you will see the business name clearly identified in the address bar of your browser. Click to register with PrivateDoc and you will be taken to an Extended SSL secured page.
Published terms and conditions
As a patient of an online clinic or a potential patient, you need to be aware of the terms and conditions of its use. This should be freely accessible and easy to find on the online clinic’s website. Online Clinics that do not clearly show their terms and conditions may not be reputable.
PrivateDocs’s Terms and Conditions are always accessible and easy to understand.
All online clinics should have a Patient Guide. A patient guide is an essential part of a care process so a patient has a clear understanding of how they are receiving their care and how to make an complaint if they need to.
PrivateDoc’s patient guide is accessible from within a patient’s login account. The PrivateDoc patient guide covers complaints, data protection feedback and PrivateDoc’s returns policy.
A published complaints procedure is another good indication of an online clinic’s authenticity. You need to know how to make a complaint in the event that there is an issue with the service or care you are receiving, and once you have made a complaint what to expect as a consequence of this.
PrivateDoc’s patient guide details our complaints procedure, all complaints are acknowledged upon receipt and managed through a standard process. Once a complaint has been dealt with you will be notified of the outcome.
Dispensing Pharmacy Information
An online clinic should tell you where the medication you have been prescribed and purchased is being dispensed from. If you are unable to determine where your medication is dispensed from you are therefore unable to guarantee its authenticity. Fake medication is dangerous and you should not risk your health by taking medication that is not genuine.
PrivateDoc uses a UK Pharmacy and the details of our dispensing Pharmacy can be found on our FAQ page.
A good quality online experience
Online user experience is a key factor when using online services. Websites that appear to be cheap looking, out of date, or have system errors when used, are a good indication of the service you are receiving.
Online clinics provide an online service, so it would make sense for a reputable clinic to invest in their website and technology to ensure it is easy to use and it works. If you have a problem using an online service you should be questioning your use of the service all together.
PrivateDoc uses TrustPilot to get feedback from our customers about our site and service. We also have an IT support team available 24/7 to ensure our systems are available and functioning correctly.
Service Reviews, Trust Pilot or similar
The best way to put your trust in an online clinic is to satisfy yourself that the service is reputable and once you have done this then look for reviews of the service from other patients.
Online Clinics that actively seek feedback are following the fundamentals of continuous improvement, a core standard set by the CQC. PrivateDoc subscribes to TrustPilot to solicit feedback from our patients if they choose to provide it.