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Patient list of digital provider GP at Hand passes 100,000

Patient list of digital provider GP at Hand passes 100,000

Digital-first GP provider GP at Hand has become the first practice in England to register over 100,000 patients on a single list.

The NHS arm of private healthcare provider Bablyon had 101,267 patients as of this month, according to data released by NHS Digital.

GP at Hand offers a mobile app which is provided by Babylon Health.

Patients can access video consultations or see a GP in person at one of the seven practices in London, where more than 90% of its patients are based.

GP at Hand also has a clinic in Birmingham and Babylon hopes to open another in Manchester.

A Babylon spokesperson said: ‘We’re honoured that over 100,000 patients have chosen Babylon GP at Hand as their primary care provider.

‘This growth is testament to the benefits of a digital-first service which gives patients more choice and increased accessibility through 24/7/365 digital appointments, while also allowing clinicians to focus on the areas they are needed most.’

The provider, which had the largest single patient list in England since October last year, has been accused by critics of ‘cherry-picking’ younger, healthier patients, leaving other practices to care for patients with greater needs

Almost half of its record-sized patient list are between the ages of 20 and 29, compared with 13% of the general population registered to a GP practice. 

And 85% of GP at Hand’s patient list is aged between 20 and 39, compared to the national proportion of 28%.

There is also a larger proportion of males registered with GP at Hand (55% compared to 45% female), while the population has an even split of genders registered at practices.

However, the spokesperson said: ‘The digital-first nature of the service means it is especially attractive to patients between 18-55 years of age who typically use technology more.

‘This demographic is also often time poor because of work or family commitments so value a 24/7/365 service that lets them access care for themselves and their families at home. However, Babylon is open to all people.’

GP at Hand controversially enjoyed the endorsement of then-health secretary Matt Hancock when it launched in 2018.

Upon complaints from GPs, including the RCGP, Mr Hancock said it did not differ to other GP practices who are also ‘private’.