Aviva switching to Square Health reportedly sent UK mobile health firm into administration
Now Healthcare Group (NHG) CEO and founder Lee Dentith has blamed its recent closure on the loss of its Aviva contract.
At the end of April 2018, Aviva chose the health tech firm to be its digital GP partner, however at the end of May this year Aviva informed customers and intermediaries that it had switched to Square Health following a supplier review.
In correspondence sent to his colleagues around this time, NHG CEO Dentith said the firm would cease to trade on 31 May following the loss of its contract to supply services to Aviva.
According to Dentith, the Aviva partnership accounted for over 90% of its telehealth business. He said: "Unfortunately we will also not be able to continue to trade with either the pharmacy or the telehealth as the businesses both supported each other."
As a result of its closure, NHG's other partner Medicash recently appointed Medical Solutions as its virtual GP service provider.
On 8 October 2019, a report by the Care Quality Commissions (CQC) described NHG Group as "inadequate for providing safe care" and a warning notice was issued citing examples of "poor prescribing" of controlled drugs, lack of GP consent and inappropriate risk assessment.
A final report on 4 April found "some improvements in providing safe services but further improvements were still needed".
In an email, CEO Dentith told COVER that he believed that the "majority" of CQC inspectors have been showing bias against telehealth firms in general.
In February 2019, the CQC deemed Square Health as "safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led" in a report which found the health tech firm to "fully meet" its requirements.
Regarding the decision to switch to Square Health, Steve Bridger, managing director UK Health at Aviva, said: "We are confident the new service will enable us to continue to provide high quality services, whilst meeting our customers' evolving digital healthcare needs."
Around 30 people were thought to be employed by NHG, based at the company's Manchester HQ and across its digital pharmacy in Liverpool.
When Aviva teamed up with NHG in April 2018, Mark Noble, CEO, Global Health at Aviva said: "Aviva is excited about appointing Now Healthcare Group as our new strategic provider of digital health services. At Aviva we're keen to provide our customers with digital solutions to help make their lives easier and give greater control of their health. We are confident that this new relationship will provide Aviva with opportunities to enhance, evolve and change the way we look after the health of our customers."