Fast Doctor prescribing policies and governance

Company structure

Fast Doctor is operated by Index Medical Ltd (IML), which also operates the Dr Fox website www.doctorfox.co.uk. Dr Fox is an online clinic service with a mail order pharmacy operation. Dr Fox has operated since January 2010 and has issued over a quarter of a million prescriptions. IML is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 1-101728017. We employ a team of 3 sessional GPs in Bristol to assess consultations and issue prescriptions. We have used the same doctors for five years. We have regular governance meetings.

Registering patients/customers

The Dr Fox website is separate from the Fast Doctor website and patients/customers are not directed from one service to the other. Fast Doctor customers will not ordinarily be aware of the Dr Fox service, unless the customer already has a Dr Fox account. Customers who already have a Dr Fox account log-in to their Fast Doctor account using the same log-in details.

Only one account per patient is allowed. We carry out checks of registration details when patients set-up an account and amalgamate duplicate accounts. Only one account can be created per email address.

When a patient/customer logs in to their Fast Doctor account, they will usually see website pages of the pharmacy where they first registered or where they last picked up an order.

In summary: If a customer of your pharmacy registers with Fast Doctor, that patient will usually stay on your pages of the website and would need to pro-actively search for another pharmacy in order to switch.

Consultations available

We have limited the consultations and medicines prescribed on Fast Doctor to those, which through clinical experience, we have found to be popular and practical to provide through online consultations. We have not included some areas of chronic disease management, sometimes offered by other online clinics, because we feel GPs are best positioned to treat and monitor these areas – examples where we do not offer consultations are diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol management. We also feel the demand for these consultations would be limited.

Because of current concerns about antibiotic resistance, we have not included consultations where antibiotics are supplied, except chlamydia treatment, which is already provided through pharmacies as part of a national chlamydia treatment service. We plan to approach Public Health England to discuss whether cystitis treatment and other antibiotic treatments should be added.

Informing GPs

Fast Doctor does not replace face-to-face consultations with doctors.

During consultations and on information pages of the Fast Doctor website patients are advised to keep their doctors informed. Some treatments are not prescribed unless patients have already had a previous prescription at a face-to-face consultation with their doctor or a doctor has already made a diagnosis at a face-to-face consultation.

Patients/customers have the option to provide their regular doctor’s contact details when they register and we post letters to doctors about Fast Doctor consultations and treatments provided. Women requesting repeats of contraception are required to provide their doctor’s contact details.

Fast Doctor patients can contact our doctors by secure messaging through their accounts or by emailing info@fastdr.com or by phone on 0117 2050198.

Pharmacists should contact patient’s/customer’s doctors and/or our doctors, if they have clinical queries.

Repeats

As a general rule, our doctors do not prescribe more than one salbutamol inhaler per month or repeat chlamydia treatment before 5 weeks and prescribe only one type of acne treatment at a time. Our doctors look out for 'over-ordering' and early ordering, and will query and decline prescription as required. Where prescriptions are declined, full refunds of prescription fees are given.

Dr Tony Steele (Medical Director)