Company behind GP at Hand recorded £23m loss for 2017

The company behind the GP at Hand video consultation service recorded losses of £23.3m in 2017, its annual accounts reveal.

Babylon Partners Limited saw turnover almost double from £797,000 in 2016 to £1.45m last year, but the company's loss for 2017 totalled £23.3m - up from a £12.9m loss for 2016.

Babylon Health Services Ltd - another part of parent company Babylon Holdings Limited - saw revenue increase from £945,649 in 2016 to £1.8m in 2017 - with profit up from £56,739 in 2016 to £108,358 last year.

A spokesperson for Babylon told GPonline: 'Both Babylon Health Services Limited (BHSL) and Babylon Partners Limited (BPL) demonstrated strong increases in turnover for the 12 months to 31 December 2017 – reflecting substantial growth across our NHS GP at Hand operations, Babylon private consumer service and B2B offerings across the UK.'

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How does the GP at Hand service work?

Losses for 2017 reported by Babylon Partners Ltd reflected 'the considerable up-front costs associated with creating one of the world’s largest and most advanced multi-disciplinary teams dedicated to building next-generation, AI-powered healthcare technologies', the spokesperson added.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said last month that the GP at Hand service should be available across England. His support for the controversial service, which has attracted thousands of predominantly young patients from NHS GP practices, has brought criticism from senior GPs.

GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey has warned the expansion of the service would risk significantly destabilising general practice in England because it would disrupt the funding model for existing practices.

RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard hit out at tech firms 'siphoning off young patients' in her keynote speech at the college's annual conference earlier this month.

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