Reasons put forward by patients for de-registering included dissatisfaction with the quality of care provided, a desire to be able to book a face-to-face appointment without having to have a digital appointment first and a change in health needs. However, it is not known why so many patients leave so quickly after joining the practice.
The survey found that GPs and patients offered different assessments of how well the digital and face-to-face services were integrated with one another.
GPs felt the support team was efficient in coordinating patient care, and bridging the gap between the digital and face-to-face element of the service. However, patients were more mixed, with the lack of integration between appointment systems an issue.
Over a period of six months GP at Hand patients had 38 fewer visits to A&E per 1,000 population compared to the control group.
Matthew Noble, medical director (UK Clinical Service) at Babylon, said: ‘The findings show Babylon GP at Hand isn’t just of great benefit to patients and GPs, it is also saving the NHS time and money. When you consider that the average A&E visit costs £1,602 and the average outpatient appointment £1,252 then you can see how quickly Babylon GP at Hand and digital-first services can have a positive impact for the NHS.’
Ipsos Mori, in partnership with York Health Economics Consortium and Prof Chris Salisbury of University of Bristol, were commissioned by NHS Hammersmith and Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS England in May 2018 to undertake an independent evaluation of the Babylon GP at hand practice.
Ipsos Mori did not provide details of how many people responded to the evaluation but said ‘while the survey received a large number of responses that were sufficient for analysis purposes, the overall response rate was low.’