GP at Hand: Birmingham

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 21st February 2019.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason NHS England lifted the ban on the Babylon GP at Hand plans to expand into Birmingham before the independent evaluation by IPOS Mori of that service is published next month.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether funding allocated to patients that sign up to the Babylon GP at Hand application is transferred to the Hammersmith and Fulham Care Commissioning Group where the application is hosted.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing compensation to GP practices that lose income as a result of patients signing up to the Babylon GP at Hand application.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether patients in Birmingham that sign up to the Babylon GP at Hand application are recorded as a patient of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG in London.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has been made of the trends in the level of patients presenting at (a) A&E Departments and (b) GP Walk-in Centres as a result of being deregistered from their local GP Practice after signing up for the Babylon GP at Hand application.

Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what safeguards his Department has put in place to ensure that patients that have signed up to Babylon GP at Hand application maintain access to a local GP practice in the event that they need to see a GP face-to-face.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

NHS England has considered the expansion of the service to Birmingham following initial concerns, in particular regarding access to immunisation and screening programmes for Babylon GP at Hand patients, and a solution has been identified. NHS England will now work together with NHS Hammersmith and Fulham and Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), national screening services, and Babylon GP at Hand to mobilise the service and agree a start date.

General practice payments are made to practices according to their registered patient list size, so the funding for general practice care will follow the patients. NHS England will shortly engage on changes to out of area registration rules, some of the current payments to primary care providers and the mechanisms by which new providers can enter the market.

The new General Practitioner Contract Framework made two changes to the current payment system:

- the rurality index payment will be amended to apply to patients living within a practice catchment area only, rather than to all patients. This is to better reflect costs; and

- the London adjustment will be amended to apply to patients resident in London, rather than registered with a London-based practice

CCG allocations have been revised for 2019/20. Hammersmith and Fulham CCG’s allocation takes account of the increased list size of the GP at Hand practice, with the CCG’s funding growth determined by an assessment of the CCG’s fair share of overall funding and rules on the pace of change in funding allocations.

All patients registered with the Babylon GP at Hand practice are recorded as patients of Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.

Hammersmith and Fulham CCG have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at Hand practice. This will look at the impact of the service on patient experience, primary care workforce, use of other services, such as accident and emergency departments and walk-in centres, and system value.

Babylon GP at Hand will provide physical premises in both London and Birmingham for those patients who require a face-to-face consultation. Under the current GP of Choice Policy, the CCGs where ‘out of area’ patients live are required to ensure out of hours care and home visits can be accessed by those patients in their resident area if they need it.

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