GP at Hand nears 30,000-patient mark as thousands more young patients join

Nearly 30,000 patients have now registered with the controversial GP at Hand video consultation service after more than 3,000 signed up in the month to 1 June, official data show.

Smartphone video consultation (Photo: iStock)
Smartphone video consultation (Photo: iStock)

Campaigners have urged health secretary Jeremy Hunt to pull the plug on the service, warning that patients joining the service have destabilised other GP services.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG has warned that it needs a bailout of around £18m in 2018/19 to cope with the surge in patients arriving at the Lillie Road Medical Centre, which hosts the GP at Hand service.

The patient list registered at the practice has increased from 4,970 in November 2017 to 29,588 at the start of June 2018.

Of the 24,618 patients who have joined in that time, almost 21,000 are aged between 20 and 39 years old - confirming GP leaders' concerns that the service would disproportionately attract younger, healthier patients.

Patients who register with GP at Hand are required to quit their existing practice and sign up as out-of-area patients with the Lillie Road practice.

The service restricts registrations from patients likely to have complex needs, such as pregnant women or those with some long-term conditions, leading to accusations of cherry-picking. Patients who sign up can receive video consultations remotely, or face-to-face consultations if needed at locations around London.

GP at Hand and Babylon, the company whose technology it relies on, have said repeatedly that 'patients and GPs are flocking to GP at Hand because they recognise the potential that high quality, digital-first 24/7 NHS GP services bring'.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Labour promises 5,000 GP training posts and premises boost in £26bn 'NHS rescue plan'

Labour promises 5,000 GP training posts and premises boost in £26bn 'NHS rescue plan'

The Labour party has promised a £26bn real-terms increase in NHS funding by 2023/24...

Can GPs believe the Conservatives' promise to deliver 6,000 more GPs?

Can GPs believe the Conservatives' promise to deliver 6,000 more GPs?

In the run-up to the 2015 general election, then health secretary Jeremy Hunt promised...

PCN recruitment scheme 'disadvantages innovative practices', LMCs warn

PCN recruitment scheme 'disadvantages innovative practices', LMCs warn

Innovative GP practices are 'disproportionately disadvantaged' by the funding scheme...

GPs demand power to close lists and drop home visits amid workload crisis

GPs demand power to close lists and drop home visits amid workload crisis

LMCs will set out major concerns over practice workload later this month, highlighting...

GP services disrupted as floods cause havoc

GP services disrupted as floods cause havoc

GPs have been left battling to get into work and deliver services, with some finding...

GMC warning for GPs working for online services

GMC warning for GPs working for online services

A set of principles aimed at helping GPs and other health professionals who practise...