Article 49 out of 1759
Doctors, who offer health consultations online, will now be rated by the care regulator and will have to display their rating on their website.
Online GPs, independent community health services and independent doctors are already inspected by the Care Quality Commission but up till now they have not had a rating such as Excellent, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.
The new changes will apply to over 800 providers, such as Push Doctor and Babylon.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “With our NHS now in its 70th year, we are planning ahead to guarantee safer and better care for patients in the years to come.
“These changes are a world first for patient safety, modernising our tough Ofsted-style inspection scheme so we keep pace with the changing landscape of healthcare, as well as helping tech-savvy patients to make informed decisions about their care.”
The changes have been introduced to bring the services in line with the rest of the NHS and aim to reassure patients who use digital GP apps provided by independent doctors about the quality and safety of the service they are choosing.
Sir David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, added: “The CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve.
“Never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.”