A Statement from Dr Mobasher Butt, Babylon’s Chief Medical Officer & GP at hand Practice Partner, Speaking on behalf of Babylon and GP at hand’s 200-strong GP community

“It is great to see the RCGP openly highlight ‘bully boy’ tactics because this is the very stance the incumbents have taken with organisations like Babylon, who dare to go against the grain in order to improve patient care. As an organisation, we have certainly seen our fair share of such ‘bully boy’ tactics, including the refusal by local CCG’s to let us use empty consulting rooms and blocking access to treatment for their most vulnerable residents. Additionally, the RCGP has deployed their own tactics by repeatedly writing to their members in weekly newsletters highlighting erroneous concerns about GP at hand, most recently following the announcement of Babylon’s US$100 million self-funded investment to create 500 more London-based science and engineering jobs in order to help make Great Britain a global leader in healthcare.

The RCGP talks about a ‘digital divide’, but the truth is the ‘digital divide’ is between organisations like Babylon, who are willing to challenge existing medical hierarchies in the interests of doing what’s best for patients, and those with vested interests who wish to keep primary care as the sole preserve of their organisations.

I understand that Helen, in her position, is often pressured to defend the interests of GP partners who own their practices; and because of the inherently hierarchical nature of medicine, that this group often has a disproportionate share of the voice across our profession. Helen and I both chose a career in medicine to serve patients’ interests first. I believe it is time that we focused not on what we want as GPs, but on what our patients are crying out for.

Further, the idea of any company being able to ‘siphon off’ younger, fitter patients when delivering primary care under a GMS contract shows a misunderstanding as this is simply not possible. Both Babylon and GP at hand are committed to serving everyone who chooses our services. To this end, we have created a complex care team dedicated to looking after patients of all ages and backgrounds, with a range of complex care needs.

We welcome Helen recognising GP at hand technology as being ‘impressive’, but more important still is to tackle the accessibility issue that has plagued primary care for decades. As a GP I have been frustrated by the very low level of service patients have been subject to for years, and until GP at Hand, no one thought it was possible to deliver primary care in minutes - 24/7, 365 days-per-year.

Now there is no excuse for not doing this.

Saying GP practices can’t afford to do this is simply not true. GP at hand has shown that it is possible for any NHS GP practice to take advantage of some of the world’s best technology, without costing the NHS a penny more, and this is precisely why other NHS practices are queuing up to do the same. Babylon offers it technology to any practice up and down the country, so that every member of the public can get the great care that comes from great doctors being assisted by great technology.”

Just look at the public reviews of Babylon. Babylon has tens of thousands of five-star ratings, perhaps more than all of the GPs in England put together. Below is a review that a patient recently shared, which is representative both of what our patients say about us in online forums, and typically of what the public, rather than the Establishment, wants. I ask RCGP and all those involved in care delivery, to work together to deliver the best possible service to people across the country by bringing together great clinicians and great technology.”