On the 20th January, the CQC imposed a condition on our registration which required our doctors to have a documented discussion with a patient's GP before making any prescribing decision in relation to opioid medicines, whether there was a regular GP or not, and whether the GP was able and willing to talk to our doctor or not.
The CQC has withdrawn this condition, as of 16:34 UK time 15th February, and imposed a new set of conditions to which we have agreed. These conditions, in summary, state that we must gather sufficient reliable information about our patients so that our doctors can decide whether they can prescribe safely. This has always been, and continues to be, our intention.
However, it is clear to us that the documentation and information we record about patients, their medical condition, the advice we provide, and our decision-making processes, will in future need to be much more detailed and easier to inspect by the CQC. This will naturally involve us spending extra time with each new patient and in reviewing the treatment options of existing patients.
We have been working hard behind the scenes on a new way of working which we hope our patients will find helpful but will allow us this extra time to document everything as fully as we need to. We intend to launch this new method of working as soon as possible. It would be irresponsible to put a firm date on the launch only minutes after the CQC decision, but we are working towards a date before the end of the month. We will update you as soon as we can be more specific.