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GP leaders 'cannot have confidence' in Hancock if he continues Babylon support

GP leaders said they ‘cannot have confidence’ in health secretary Matt Hancock if he continues his support of Babylon’s GP at Hand scheme at the English LMCs Conference in London.

The GPs voted in favour of the motion that said they ‘cannot have confidence in him if he continues to demonstrate ignorance of the value, worth and function of general practice’.

Mr Hancock has previously lauded Babylon’s model, which allows NHS patients from across London to sing up to its practice for digital consultations.

The health secretary said he is a patient of Babylon, and that the company is ‘taking the pressure off the NHS’.

Speaking at the England LMCs conference, motion proposer Dr Brian McGregor - a GP from North Yorkshire LMC - said: ‘GPs ensure we treat any and all patients who approach us to the very best of our ability, without discrimination, opening our doors to all who need us. GP at Hand has disregarded these principles.’

He continued: ‘Yet our secretary of state for health endorses this approach, uses the Babylon head office for public announcements.

‘Welcoming this innovation segregates large sections of society into the too difficult to deal with category.’

The conference passed the motion, with the exception of part four, which called on Mr Hancock to retract his statement until the Department of Health and Social Care-comissioned report is complete.

Last week Pulse revealed that NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG has lifted its clinical restrictions for which patients Babylon’s GP at Hand app can sign up.

However, Babylon’s proposed expansion of GP at Hand to Birmingham is still currently blocked due to clinical safety concerns relating to patient screening can be resolved.

Motion in full

AGENDA COMMITTEE TO BE PROPOSED BY NORTH YORKSHIRE: That conference with regard to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care:

(i) welcomes NHS England’s independent evaluation of GP at Hand service

(ii) is shocked and dismayed by his flagrant endorsing of the GP at Hand model within the Babylon headquarters

(iii) calls upon him to publicly retract his comments that GP at Hand was “good for NHS patients, clinicians… and relieved pressure on other NHS services” until such a time as the report commissioned by his own ministerial department is completed

(vi) cannot have confidence in him if he continues to demonstrate his ignorance of the value, worth and function of general practice by his support for a virtual system incapable of providing holistic care.

Source:  BMA

Readers' comments (8)

  • FIRST WE HAD A HUNT RUNNING THE SHOW, NOW WE HAVE A HANCOCK.
    DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.....

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  • Unfortunate name but doesn't hide the fact that he is just another political tosser more interested in greasing his own pole.....

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  • Not strictly accurate... they rejected part (iv), which read...

    (iv) calls upon him to ensure that existing software used by GPs works appropriately first before continuing to promote GP at Hand

    Because we didn't want it uttered into him thinking we would approve of his promotion of gp at hand were current software to be sorted...

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  • What Now?

    The GPs voted in favour of the motion that said they ‘cannot have confidence in him if he continues to demonstrate ignorance of the value, worth and function of general practice’.

    A HEALTH MINISTER SHOULD HAVE
    1. DO A TEST DEMONSTRATING THEIR KNOWLEDGE BEFORE THEY TAKE A POST
    (pLAB/ Citizenship tests)
    And
    2. Declare all conflicts of interests
    and gifts / payments received



    Is this the only area where you show ignorance after getting the post ?

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  • What Now?

    The health secretary said he is a patient of Babylon, and that the company is ‘taking the pressure off the NHS’.

    does that mean he lives in their catchment area
    because if he is outside the catchment area
    he must leave babylon and publicly announce he has had to leave as he is outside the catchment area

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  • What Now?

    (i) welcomes NHS England’s independent evaluation of GP at Hand service

    Really
    how independent is this ????

    NHS england seems all for this
    unfair unsanctioned cherry picking service

    whilst not allowing any other gp practice to do the same

    level playing ground please

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  • A they aren't GP leaders
    B Hancock doesn't care
    C Babylon doesn't care
    Move on nothing to see here

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  • Bugger the GP Leaders if they don't want to see reality in the eye. Fact is that these leaders get the funding where they are because they are 'leaders' with connections. They don't have to face the hard reality faced by the rest of GPs. And the truth is well known and accepted - things have to change. Call it co-payment, privatization or a pussy riot, any model that takes you forward is good enough for us on the forefront.

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