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Former Babylon NHS arm changes its name to eMed GP at Hand

Former Babylon NHS arm changes its name to eMed GP at Hand

Babylon GP at Hand is ‘rebranding’ as eMed GP at Hand following the sale of Babylon’s UK business to the US company.

The online NHS GP provider, which serves around 100,000 patients in London, was set up in 2017 by digital-first healthcare company Babylon, via a partnership with a Hammersmith GP practice.

Following financial trouble over the last year, Babylon’s clinical services business was sold solvently to eMed Digital Healthcare at the start of September, and the company is now called eMed UK.

At the time, Babylon’s administrators told Pulse GP at Hand was unaffected by the sale, because it is owned separately by its NHS GP partnership.

However, the service is still undergoing a rebrand since it is ‘powered’ by digital health solutions which were provided by Babylon, which is now eMed.

This change was communicated to GP at Hand patients this morning, with GP partner Dr Matt Noble reassuring patients that they will still receive ‘the high levels of care’ they have come to expect.

‘Over the next few weeks, Babylon will be rebranding to eMed – you may have already noticed some changes to our logo, in our app and website, as well as our team introducing themselves as eMed,’ the email to patients said. 

Dr Noble also indicated that the five physical GP at Hand clinics located across London will be given a ‘fresh new look including exciting new features and facilities’. 

But an eMed spokesperson told Pulse that they have no other plans to change ‘the state-of-art physical clinic locations’.

The Babylon website has now been rebranded to eMed, and reassures patients that there will be ‘no disruption’ to the care it provides as result of the acquisition. 

It also states that there will be ‘no impact’ to its clinicians and that ‘day-to-day operations will continue as usual’.

The company told Pulse: ‘eMed are looking forward to continue to support and invest in the NHS GP at Hand service. There is currently no planned change or disruption to any of these services.’

A spokesperson for NHS North West London, the ICB that manages the GP at Hand contract, said: ‘We are fully sighted on the change of ownership and brand. We are assured that service provision remains the same for all patients registered.’

Pulse exclusively revealed earlier this year that Babylon had indefinitely suspended out-of-area patient registrations for GP at Hand, meaning that only patients who lived in Central Fulham – where the practice is based – were able to register.

The service is currently open to anyone who lives or works within 40 minutes travel time of one of the London clinics and, asked if this will remain the same following the rebrand, eMed said the eligibility of out-of-area patients is under regular review.

GP at Hand became the first practice in England to register more than 100,000 patients on a single list in August last year.

However, its Birmingham operation was forced to close in November as part of a strategy of ‘winding down’ unprofitable NHS contracts.

And last year Babylon’s CEO Dr Ali Parsa said the company needed to be ‘super careful’ about expanding its UK GP services as it loses money on every patient, with accounts revealing the NHS GP at Hand arm was reliant on profits from the private side of the business.