NHS England has issued a tender for an independent evaluation of Babylon’s GP at Hand service after the national body lodged a ‘formal objection’ to a significant further roll out of the service.
The free NHS-commissioned and funded service promises to cut waiting times by allowing patients to book appointments and talk to their doctor through their smartphones. But it was met with criticism from Local Medical Committees.
NHS England along with Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which has trialled GP at Hand – issued a tender on 6 March for a £250,000 contract for an “independent evaluation” of the service.
The contract is due to start on 1 June 2018 and end 30 May 2019.
“Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, as the contracting authority would like to encourage all types of organisations to bid for this service including lead bidders and consortiums that are able and qualified to deliver a service such as this, which is hoped will pull together an appropriate mix of expertise to undertake the evaluation,” the tender states.
The closing date for bids is 5 April.
In January 2018, Digital Health News reported on how NHS England had lodged a “formal objection” to plans for a significant further roll-out of Babylon Healthcare’s GP at Hand. These plans were first revealed in a clinical review of the service by Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.
The review added that the GP at Hand service has not been “formally evaluated”, which could result in “unintended consequences”.
However, it did hail the service as an “innovative”, “exciting” and “potentially transformative” approach to general practice and healthcare.
The recommendation section of the document suggested a formal review was needed: “We would suggest that a rigorous evaluation framework be agreed with local commissioners and the NHS England Regional Directorate, to accompany a more gradual roll-out of the model that enables any concerns to be rapidly identified and learning applied to mitigate the risk of any detrimental impact.”
Proposals show Babylon responded by scaling back plans to expand the service from nine physical clinics, which included Birmingham and Manchester, to four.
22 March 2018 @ 14:15
When I first had an underactive thyroid I was expected to miss many days of work for blood tests and to see the GP. The NHS is not setup for people who have a long commute to work, these are often also the people who pay the most toward the NHS.
At that point in time I would have been in the 5% of people who take up most GP time, yet I would have jumped at a service like GPAtHand…..
Do not assume they are taking the people with the least need for GP access, hene the requirement for this research.
There are real questions to answer when lots of people need GP care both near home and near work, yet they can be commuting 100miles each day……
Even in Manchester most workers don’t live in the same CCG as they work in. Even now that I am not working can get into the centre of Manchester by train qucker then I can get to most of my CCG services as they are not on my train line…..
22 March 2018 @ 14:48
Ian, the problem in NHS is not funding, staff but caused by mangers who do not know or want to listen to what doctors are saying. Over enthusiastic urge to use IT is to create next phase of healthcare. They assumed, medical profession will exist for another century and invested billions in building hospitals, creating jobs.
They do not know what goes on in a consultation room and so think healthcare be systemised like Mac Donald’s. AI works is A goes to B or C, but it does not.
You as a lay person will get anxious as soon as you hear words like thyroid but doctors like me will not. If healthcare cannot alleviate, pain and suffering we are failing.
I created Dr Maya, knowing 60%-80% accessing healthcare have trivial problem that can be managed by doctors without any clinical examination. Healthcare providers thrive on emotions and so do not address the problem due to fear of loosing money.
I hope my reply explain why the problem exist. Please use my app and see how a simple tool can help you get information you need and make sure you stay healthy.
21 March 2018 @ 22:38
read the other link.
Primary care is meant to offer a comprehensive service for folks in a defined geographical area, so you could suggest the need to use tech is discriminatory
Payment is not based on activity /contact episodes.
From a survey when i first joined practice 5% of folks use 25% of resource .
IF business logic applied. etc etc
The registered infrequent service users cross subsidy the 5% , losing that patient cohort is the distorting the financial viability of surrounding practices.
What’s the fairest way?
the dial a doc approach has its obvious attractions for access .
It is bizzare the NHSE approved service now needs an arms length review , though i can see logic to do this way …. if you get my drift 😉
19 March 2018 @ 20:39
I’m confused. I thought GP at hand was an NHS England funded initiative intent on a disruptive approach to primary care. Now they have objected to it and are commissioning an independent evaluation? I know it has attracted a lot of flak but if your primary care disruptor project isn’t upsetting the BMA you probably aren’t doing it right.
18 March 2018 @ 22:40
NHS must be naive to think companies advertising and investing funds will offer free service. My app is free for doctors to register and organise appointment, share information. All that they have to do is register as Maya Dr. http://Www.7imed.com
16 March 2018 @ 20:40
if people “choose” to use the service then fairs fair, what a waste of a quarter of a million of the money that belongs to future generations (i.e. tax), just monitor the usage data, surely no need to commission another report?
16 March 2018 @ 15:00
why are the public be paying for this research? shouldn’t it be the supplier / developers role to prove their product works!