"As we recreate a new norm following the pandemic, we are now starting to see the legacy from the psychological impact on our nation."
- Ian Ranger, head of claims and medical underwriting at Canada Life
Earlier this year, RedArc warned insurers that thousands were experiencing exceptionally long waiting times both for elective and emergency treatment on the NHS. In response, the service provider proposed that insurers, employers, and advisers should play a bigger role in helping people navigate the system and bridge the care gap. Christine Husbands, commercial director at RedArc, stressed that, “this does not have to mean paying for expensive procedures or treatments, it is often a case of giving someone the knowledge they need to make the most of what is available.”
Since then, Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, has warned the industry about the growing number of those suffering with anxiety and depression who can’t access NHS support. Clark believes that a “careful mix of incentives, health and wellbeing is fundamental” as the nation continues to experience the ongoing effects of the Pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.
Highlighting the ease of “lighter-touch apps and platforms,” she explained that “having these resources on your laptop or phone so that it’s easy to access could make support much more impactful.”
According to Canada Life’s latest WeCare data, because of these longer waiting times on NHS surgeries and GP appointments, the demand for virtual services increased by 27% in 2022 alone.
Of those surveyed (2,100), more than half (54%) said that accessing WeCare meant they were able to avoid taking time off work, while 27% experienced a swifter return to the workplace than initially expected. When asked what they would have done without access to the service, 22% admitted that they would have waited for their condition to worsen.
In 2022, of those that accessed the WeCare platform, everyone spoke to a doctor before their condition could deteriorate and 19% of cases no longer classify as requiring further support based on clinical definitions. Furthermore, 54% of patients were able to receive care from the comfort of their home and no longer require further medical intervention.
Commenting on these findings, Ian Ranger, head of claims and medical underwriting at Canada Life, has said:
“It’s positive to see the impact that our WeCare services had last year, by reducing staff absences in the workplace and getting employees back into the workplace in a healthy and timely manner. However, as we recreate a new norm following the pandemic, we are now starting to see the legacy from the psychological impact on our nation.
“The data from WeCare highlights the continuous demand and necessity for mental health services and support, as well as virtual GP appointments. While it’s reassuring to see such a positive contribution that this service is having on individuals' lives, it’s also a stark reminder that mental health does not discriminate and can impact anyone.”