Matt Hancock labelled ‘irresponsible’ for promoting GP at Hand app by Labour counterpart

Jon Ashworth is Matt Hancock’s Labour counterpart

The Health and Social Care secretary has been labelled as ‘irresponsible’ since his promotion of the controversial GP at Hand app service by Jon Ashworth, his Labour counterpart.

In his speech at the Labour party conference in Liverpool, Mr Ashworth said: “For me, patients will always come first.

“As your health secretary I would never abandon my responsibilities to patient care and safety.”

The criticism follows concerns from the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) suggesting a national rollout of the app could result in ‘significant destabilisation’ of general practice and drive up already soaring demand.

Matt Hancock is a registered patient of GP at Hand and has backed the app since taking over the role of Health and Social Care secretary in July.

Mr Hancock promoted the app in his first major speech as Health and Social Care secretary and called for similar technology to be ‘available to all.’

He said: “It works brilliantly for so many patients and goes with the grain of how people access modern services. Where a new service challenges the system, the right response isn’t to reject the new service but to change the system.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Technology has the potential to transform care for patients – that’s why we are encouraging innovation from right across the tech sector to work with the NHS, so clinicians have more time to spend caring for patients and every pound spent goes further.”

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