GP at Hand advert deemed ‘misleading’

The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled the GP at Hand advert promising NHS doctor appointments in ‘minutes’ as misleading.

The smartphone GP service offers a symptom-checker and free GP consultations via videolink on smartphones. However, the ASA said complaints had been lodged claiming that advertisements did not specify that users would first have to leave their GP, and registration could take up to three weeks, or that potential users must live within 40 minutes of one of five surgery catchment areas in London in order to see a GP in person.

Babylon Healthcare Services, which runs GP at Hand with a group of London GPs, maintain that the sign-up process and eligibility criteria were clearly displayed on both the GP at Hand app and website, and says that the process was ‘self-evident’.

GP at Hand has been publicly backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who claims to use the service, and has recently supported the service despite fears in the NHS that its expansion will destabilise traditional GP services.

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