7.1 Medical Practitioners
7.1.1 DCA Medical Practitioners are registered and fully qualified to work in their respective countries. They undergo external appraisals in accordance with standard practice for health professionals; receive bespoke training, including in virtual consultation skills where relevant; and are monitored and reviewed internally by the DCA clinical leadership team.
a. UK General Practitioners are registered with the General Medical Council and are on the UK GP or relevant Specialist register.
b. Irish General Practitioners are registered with the Irish Medical Council and are on the GP register for Ireland.
7.1.2 DCA Medical Practitioners are all covered with specific tele-consulting medical indemnity insurance.
7.1.3 The information and advice provided by a Medical Practitioner during an appointment should be used to increase your awareness of the options you may have available to you. By its nature, a virtual appointment may not be sufficient in certain circumstances for your needs and is unlikely to be appropriate or sufficient for emergency conditions, where a physical examination or intervention is likely to be required or where the issue is not suited to a remote appointment. We strongly recommend you share and/or discuss the information from your appointment with your local Doctor/GP and that you return to your local Doctor/GP to discuss any significant differences in recommended medical treatment and your concerns about previous medical treatments by your local Doctor/GP.
7.1.4 The information and advice provided by a Medical Practitioner during an appointment is based on the information you have supplied to us. It is your responsibility to ensure this information is correct and complete and you accept that failure to do so (whether intentionally or not) may affect the information and advice the Medical Practitioner gives to you and, as such, may have consequences for which we are not responsible.
7.1.5 In the event that you do not fully understand any information given during your appointment, it is your responsibility to raise this during your appointment and the Medical Practitioner will seek to clarify matters for you.
7.2.1 By making an appointment you give Doctor Care Anywhere express consent to provide the Service to you in your chosen time slot and within any cancellation period provided by any English laws or regulations.
7.2.2 You may book an appointment with a Medical Practitioner via the Platform. The appointment will occur via phone or video conference. Appointment slots are made available at our discretion in each 24 hour period but will typically be offered between the hours of 8am to 10pm GMT. You can access the appointment booking system to book an appointment, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
7.2.3 When booking your appointment, you will be required to provide details of and answer specific questions about your health concern, as well as confirming your location and time-zone in order to select a time slot in which you would like to attend your appointment. All appointment times are displayed in accordance with your selected appointment time-zone, so you do not need to calculate the time-zone time difference. It is your responsibility to ensure that you select a country and time-zone that will match your location at the time of the appointment.
7.2.4 When booking your appointment, you will be matched with any Medical Practitioner, however you have the option to select the gender of a Medical Practitioner you wish to see or a specific Medical Practitioner from a list. We cannot guarantee the availability of any Medical Practitioner and will not be liable if any Medical Practitioner selected by you is unavailable at any time.
7.2.5 For your safety you will tell us your location at the time of the appointment when making the booking. If you are not at this location when you start the appointment you must tell the Medical Practitioner when the appointment begins. If you are in an inappropriate consulting environment, for example you are driving, the Medical Practitioner will ask you to re-book and your appointment will be subject to our appointment cancellation terms.
7.2.6 Subject to our Acceptable and Fair Use Policy as detailed in Schedule 2 of these Terms, you can upload images and/or documents in connection with an appointment, to provide the relevant Medical Practitioner with additional information regarding your specific health concern.
7.2.7 You may check and correct any input errors in your appointment request up until the point at which you submit your request for an appointment. Appointments are automatically accepted; however, we are not obliged to accept your appointment for any particular Medical Practitioner and may at our discretion cancel a booked appointment and/or offer an alternative Medical Practitioner.
7.2.8 Your appointment will be confirmed on the Platform and we will send an email confirming the appointment details to your registered email address.
7.2.9 To ensure your safety, a Medical Practitioner will review the details you provided about your health concern, and at their discretion and as required, contact you for example to:
a. ask for more information, pictures or evidence;
b. ask for you to switch from a telephone to a video appointment;
c. assess you for a potential emergency and signpost to an emergency service as needed.
7.2.10 Ten minutes before your appointment you will receive an email and text message reminder of that your appointment is about to start.
7.2.11 It is your responsibility to be available to speak to the Medical Practitioner by your chosen method at the time of the appointment, and for:
a. video appointments, it is your responsibility to ensure you are signed in to the waiting room prior to your appointment, you have good internet connection, following the instructions to test both video and voice are functioning. You will receive a notification inviting you to join your appointment when the Medical Practitioner is ready;
b. video appointments which experience technical difficulties, the Medical Practitioner will attempt to contact you on the nominated telephone number on your account;
c. telephone appointments, the Medical Practitioner will call you on your chosen number. It is your responsibility to ensure that the number you provide is correct and that if you are using a mobile phone you have adequate signal.
7.2.12 The Medical Practitioner will perform a data protection check at the beginning of the appointment and reserves the right to deny any person access if they cannot confirm their identity, and in the case of an appointment for their Child, the identity of that Child in addition to their identity.
7.2.13 Where a patient is under 16 (or under 18 if they have not yet adopted their own patient record) they must be accompanied by their parent who is the registered primary policy holder, where a data protection check will be done on the parent and Child.
7.2.14 Where the Child has capacity and wishes to receive care in confidence, the parent can leave the child to consult with the Medical Practitioner. The child can further decide to withhold their clinical record from their parent; however, this may limit the Medical Practitioners ability to issue prescriptions or referrals.
7.2.15 During your appointment, your consulting Medical Practitioner may advise that a follow up appointment may be necessary, within a certain period. It is your responsibility to book the follow up appointment. We will remind you by email and text message if the follow up appointment is not booked, up to and including the last day of the period.
7.2.16 You will follow any instructions that our Medical Practitioners give you.
7.2.17 You will tell a Medical Practitioner or your GP, if you have any bad or unexpected effects from anything that we have recommended to you.
7.2.18 At the Medical Practitioner’s discretion and as required, they may contact you by any of your contact methods, including email, phone, post or text message as part of the Service, prior, during and after the appointment.
7.2.19 You can view the status of all your upcoming and past appointments within the Platform. You can also view and download all clinical documents relating to your appointments, including referral letters, fit notes, e-prescriptions and appointment notes as further described in these Terms.
Amending, cancelling and non-attendance of appointments
7.2.20 You may cancel an appointment at any time up to 12 hours prior to the time at which your appointment is due to begin and, if you are a PAYG Member, you will receive a full refund of any monies which you have paid. There is no refund if you are not a PAYG member.
7.2.21 If you cancel within 12 hours of the appointment or once the appointment has begun, we reserve the right to restrict future bookings or to decline the Service as detailed in our Acceptable and Fair Use Policy. There is no refund of any monies paid whether or not you are a PAYG member, unless a Medical Practitioner has signposted you to an emergency service before the appointment, as detailed in clause 2.9c, and you need to cancel as a result.
7.2.22 You may amend the time slot for your appointment at any time up to 2 hours prior to your chosen time slot.
7.2.23 Within 2 hours of your time slot, you can only cancel your appointment. There is no refund of any monies paid whether or not you are a PAYG member. In such circumstances, we reserve the right to restrict future bookings or to decline to provide any further Service as details in our Acceptable and Fair Use Policy.
7.2.24 If you are more than 10 minutes late for an appointment the Medical Practitioner reserves the right to either cancel or to continue with the appointment. In the case of cancellation, there will be no refund whether or not you are a PAYG member, and you may be asked to rebook for another appointment. In the case of either cancellation or continuation, we reserve the right to restrict future bookings or to decline to provide any further Service.
7.2.25 If you fail to attend an appointment, we reserve the right to charge you for that appointment unless you missed the appointment because of technical reasons outlined in clause 2.28. Should you or a Child under your parental responsibility miss 2 appointments in a calendar week or more than 1 per week for a period of four weeks, we may consider your activity to be a breach of our Acceptable and Fair Use Policy as detailed in Schedule 2 of these Terms. Similarly, if you miss three consecutive appointments between attended appointments, we may review your access to the Service as appropriate.
7.2.26 In the event that your offer or Healthcare Scheme provides you with a limited number of appointments any appointment cancelled, amended, or for which you are late in accordance with clauses 2.21, 7.2.23 and 7.2.24 above, will count towards your total allocation of appointments permitted within your offer or Healthcare Scheme.
7.2.27 To cancel or amend the time of your appointment as above, you must follow the cancellation process documented on the Platform.
7.2.28 If you have not been able to attend the appointment because the Platform is unavailable due to a technical fault caused by us, then we may offer you a refund if you are a PAYG member. It is your responsibility to ensure your equipment (computer, laptop, netbook, tablet or other mobile device) meets the necessary technical specifications to enable you to access and use the Platform and the Service (information is provided on supported browsers and devices on the Platform). Any failure by you to attend an appointment because your equipment does not meet the necessary technical specifications will not lead to us providing you with a refund even if you are a PAYG member.
7.2.29 Where you use an offer to purchase an appointment, your refund on cancellation of the appointment will be based on the amount you paid. If your appointment using the offer was free, you will not receive a refund and you will not be able to book an alternative appointment using the same offer.
7.2.30 If you have booked an appointment but subsequently wish to cancel your subscription, we reserve the right to charge for the appointment at the retail price quoted on the Platform if the appointment is fulfilled by yourself and the DCA Doctor.
7.3 Private Prescriptions
7.3.1 Your consulting Medical Practitioner may issue a private prescription for medicines appropriate for your condition, only when in their professional judgment and based on the medical history you have provided and the symptoms you describe, it is in your best interests to receive the medicine.
7.3.2 Medical Practitioners prescribe in accordance with the Doctor Care Anywhere prescribing guidelines, that comply with General Medical Council guidelines on remote prescribing and essential standards of quality and safety as interpreted by the Care Quality Commission. We may refuse to prescribe medicines when we believe it is not in your best interests to receive those medicines without the benefit of an in-person consultation. We strongly advise you to share information with your regular Doctor/GP about any private prescriptions you receive.
7.3.3 Certain classes of medications such as specialist drugs, medications requiring close monitoring or controlled drugs (for example benzodiazepines such as sleeping tablets, opioids such as morphine and fertility medications) and other classes of strong pain killers (for example high dose Codeine Phosphate) are not suitable for online prescribing. This is not an exhaustive list and your consulting Medical Practitioner may advise you that a particular medication may not be suitable for an online prescription at the time of the appointment.
7.3.4 If you are issued a prescription, depending on a number of factors including your location and the medication you have been a prescribed, a prescription may be fulfilled in the following ways:
a. Collect your medication from your local pharmacy (ePrescription or directly arranged by DCA).
b. Dispensed using a DCA affiliate pharmacy partner ("Pharmacy Affiliate").
c. Over the counter (where a prescription is not required for your prescribed medication in the country you are located); or
7.3.5 Where a prescription is fulfilled by our Pharmacy Affiliate:
a. DCA private prescriptions are processed by a dispensing Pharmacy Affiliate who can ensure fulfilment of medications to you. The dispensing Pharmacy Affiliate is a separate entity from Doctor Care Anywhere and to the extent permitted by law Doctor Care Anywhere disclaims any liability for any acts or omissions of the dispensing Pharmacy Affiliate and has no control over or responsibility for any individual Pharmacy Affiliate, their policies in relation to acceptance or otherwise of private prescriptions, delivery of private prescriptions, opening hours or availability. We receive no remuneration for prescriptions from Pharmacy Affiliates;
b. For the purposes fulfilling your prescription and verifying your identity on collection or delivery of your medication, you authorise DCA to share your prescription and contact data with the Pharmacy Affiliate, taking all reasonable steps to protect your personal information. The Pharmacy Affiliate will contact you directly to process the prescription including confirmation of your details and taking payment from you for the medications prescribed and arranging delivery where applicable.
c. In instances when the Pharmacy Affiliate services are not appropriate or not available a prescription can be sent to a local pharmacy for similar processing of delivery or collection.
7.3.6 It is your responsibility to choose your preferred fulfilment method. As soon as your prescription is published, you can log into your account to make your choice. We cannot arrange your prescription until you have done this and as such cannot be held accountable for any delays.
7.3.7 Private prescriptions are always chargeable to the patient. The dispensing pharmacy determines the price of the medication for which we have no involvement and receive no commission.
7.3.8 You acknowledge that you and the dispensing pharmacy are solely responsible for arranging to receive medication and paying for such medication and delivery (where a delivery service is used) on such terms that you agree with the pharmacy that dispenses the medication. You are under no obligation to purchase any prescribed medication. We shall not be responsible for ensuring that you receive the medicine you are prescribed or that the medicine you receive is the same as that prescribed.
7.3.9 You will comply with any instructions given in relation to any prescription provided to you including and in particular route, timing and dosages. We are not responsible for any instructions in relation to the medication provided by a pharmacist or anyone else associated with the provision of medication you have been prescribed.
7.3.10 You will promptly report any side effects of any prescription to a doctor.
7.3.11 You will protect anything prescribed to you and not permit any other person access to the prescribed medication.
7.3.12 You will not use any prescription after its expiry date.
7.3.13 DCA Medical Practitioners are unable to provide private repeat prescriptions for ongoing conditions. Our Medical Practitioners may be able to provide a short-term supply of such medication but will direct you back to your regular doctor as appropriate to seek further prescriptions for the same medication.
7.3.14 You are advised to inform your GP of any medication changes advised by a Medical Practitioner.
7.4 Referrals and Fit Notes
7.4.1 Subject to your agreement, Doctor Care Anywhere can provide referrals to a (or multiple) specialists and private in person GPs where clinically appropriate and suitable. DCA Medical Practitioners will always make best efforts to ensure the most appropriate referral and recommendation is made.
7.4.2 DCA referrals do not specify a named individual consultant but are made on an 'open referral’ basis specifying the appropriate medical specialty.
7.4.3 Where you are a member of a Healthcare Scheme or hold private medical insurance cover for which we are affiliated, we can, with your explicit consent, send your Referral Approval Request to your provider’s appointment team to call you to advise you whether your referral is eligible under the terms of your Healthcare Scheme or insurance policy (as applicable), and where eligible, find and book a specialist convenient for you.
7.4.4 DCA cannot advise if a claim will or will not be accepted by your Healthcare Scheme or medical insurance provider. It is the responsibility of the patient to discuss claim options with their insurer if appropriate.
7.4.5 Your consulting Medical Practitioner can supply a statement of fitness for work, known as a “Fit Note” where clinically appropriate, up to a maximum of six weeks, in two-week increments.
7.5 Keeping your GP informed
7.5.1 We strongly recommend that your medical information is shared with your regular GP.
a. In the UK we can share this on your behalf, however, we will not share information unless we have your express permission or there is a risk of harm or an overriding public interest in disclosing the information without your consent. This is in accordance with applicable laws and the General Medical Council's guidance which may from time-to-time change.
b. If you reside in any other jurisdiction, we strongly encourage you to download your appointment notes and share with your regular GP.
7.5.3 To the extent permitted by applicable law, DCA has no responsibility and does not accept any liability arising from or in connection with incorrect data entered by you, or your appointment notes being sent to the wrong GP, as a result of you providing us with incorrect data that we deem it reasonable to rely upon as accurate.
7.5.4 In addition to and without effecting clause 5.2 above, we may also check from time to time your information held on the PDS (if applicable) to update your current GP and Healthcare Number and take any other steps we deem reasonably necessary to ensure so far as possible that the data we hold about you is correct and up to date.
7.5.5 Where you ask us to do so or as otherwise set out in clause 5.1 we will do everything reasonably possible to share your medical notes with your GP. However, if your GP does not accept your notes for any reason, we will inform you, and you may need to share your notes directly. Doctor Care Anywhere will not be liable for any losses incurred or suffered by you or any third party - e.g. family member, as a result of a GP refusing to accept or process the medical notes we hold about you.
7.6 Primary care diagnostic investigations
7.6.1 Doctor Care Anywhere cannot provide referrals to, or signpost for, diagnostic tests for the purpose of primary care investigations.
7.6.2 Doctor Care Anywhere does not permit you to use unauthorised DCA documents as a request for investigations. We cannot be held responsible or liable for receiving or acting upon any results that come from these tests.
7.6.3 Where you upload diagnostic tests results to the Platform, these will not be routinely reviewed and DCA cannot be held responsible or liable for acting upon these results. Where you bring these results to the attention of the consulting Medical Practitioner, they may, in their own clinical judgement use those results to inform their clinical opinion and resulting advice.
7.7 Specialist referrals with diagnostic investigations as a benefit
7.7.1 Where your Healthcare Scheme includes specialist referrals with diagnostic investigations as a benefit, we can make specialist referrals for a range of conditions, for which private diagnostic investigations are required. These include pathology (e.g. blood tests, urine), radiology/imaging (e.g. x-ray, ultrasound scans, MRI) and cardiology (e.g. ECG, angiography) supplied by a third-party provider (“Provider”).
7.7.2 Diagnostic tests as a benefit are only available to Adults over the age of 18.
7.7.3 With your explicit consent, we will manage your care journey into specialist care and will submit your claim for approval to your Healthcare Scheme.
a. On claim approval, we will share with the Provider, your personal information, including the medical information required by the Provider, via the Provider order form. The Provider will contact you to book an appointment at a convenient time for the diagnostic tests to be performed.
b. If your claim in not approved, you will be discharged. As necessary, a new appointment can be booked to speak to a DCA Medical Practitioner to discuss your care options.
7.7.4 Following your Provider appointment, your results will be sent to us where a DCA Virtual Specialist will review your appointment notes, medical history, and test results. The DCA Virtual Specialist will use this information to write a report detailing their recommendations. No in-person assessment will be carried out for the purpose of this report and the recommendations will discussed with your DCA Medical Practitioner.
7.7.5 You will be informed that your results are ready, and you will be able to book a follow up review appointment with a DCA Medical Practitioner, where your options will be discussed. These may include:
a. An onward referral to an in-person specialist for the next phase of your care;
b. A recommended self-management care plan based on recommendations from the DCA Virtual Specialist and agreed with a DCA Medical Practitioner; or
7.7.6 If an onward referral is required, we will again submit your claim to your Healthcare Scheme for authorisation to proceed to the next stage of your secondary care.
a. On claim approval, your Healthcare Scheme will book your specialist appointment and inform us of the in-person specialists contact details. We will arrange for your appointment notes, referral letter, DCA Virtual Specialist report and diagnostic results to be securely transferred to the in-person specialist. At which point you will be discharged by the DCA Medical Practitioner and your care will be managed by the in-person specialist.
b. If your claim in not approved, you will be discharged. As necessary, a new appointment can be booked to speak to a DCA Medical Practitioner to discuss your care options.