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Babylon expansion halted after IT glitch at CCG

The expansion of Babylon’s GP at Hand service in Birmingham this month has been halted after an IT glitch at NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

The CCG approved the provider’s move to Birmingham in June, but with a cap of not more than 2,600 patients. But this cap was lifted in August on the condition that necessary measures to ensure the expansion won’t impact patient screening were implemented by 15 September.

In order to do this, and sync Babylon’s system with practices in Birmingham, a change to IT systems at the CCG was required. However, the CCG’s IT supplier has not yet upgraded the system which means that no more than 2,600 patients can register with Babylon in Birmingham.

A spokesperson for Babylon said: ‘It’s disappointing that Hammersmith & Fulham CCG’s third-party providers haven’t been able to put their technical solutions in place, however, we’ve been reassured there won’t be a long delay and we are ready and waiting patiently until they have their systems in place.’

The CCG said the issues preventing Babylon’s expansion have not yet been fully resolved, and that an update is scheduled for next month.

A spokesperson said: ‘A technical solution to address the issues discussed at the Primary Care Commissioning Committee (PCCC) meeting in August has not yet been fully put in place.

‘In line with the committee’s decision, the limitations on registration numbers for the Birmingham site remain.

‘The limitations will remain until the solution has been implemented. An update will be provided at the October PCCC.’

It follows NHS England plans to make it easier for digital-first providers to set up new practices in deprived areas from April 2020