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NEWS: On-line GP service set for Birmingham expansion

by in GP Practice Management, News

A controversial on-line video service is on the brink of getting permission to operate fully in Birmingham, it has been reported.

GP At Hand is currently limited to recruiting 2,600 NHS patients in Birmingham and Solihull – but has been given until 15 September to meet conditions to have the restrictions lifted. Details of the proposals emerged from a meeting of the Hammersmith and Fulham clinical commissioning group, it has emerged.

Until recently the CCG sought to block the expansion – as it has to pay the costs of patients recruited by GP At Hand, which is based at a practice in Fulham.

The service currently has about 50,000 patients and has been backed by health secretary Matt Hancock – but has faced accusations that it is creaming the worried well from NHS services. To meet the new criteria to operate in Birmingham, Babylon will have to demonstrate that it can offer patients certain physical services, such as cervical smears, in the city.

The second requirement has been a technical solution to ensure that the service correctly identifies patients recruited in Birmingham and Solihull. This will ensure that patients are correctly routed to local services, according to the CCG papers.

They state: “The Babylon GP at Hand Practice clinical and contractual assurance group … were assured that through the joint working the majority of links and processes for accessing local care pathways, safeguarding and diagnostics in the Birmingham and Solihull area had been achieved.”

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