In a recent BBC poll, 50% of the British public rated the NHS as the biggest priority for the Government ahead of the election1. Our groundbreaking telemedicine service, Vitality GP, provides VitalityHealth members with fast access to a doctor when they need it, with the added benefits of convenient prescription delivery and onward referral when necessary. We believe Vitality GP will be a vote winner when it comes to providing your clients with the medical support they want and need.
GP SERVICES UNDER FIRE
The funding, management and future of the NHS has been highlighted as a key concern by all the political parties, ahead of the General Election. NHS bosses are calling for a further £8 billion in above-inflation funding by 20202, with improved GP services seen as a priority.
We did see an increase in the number of doctors between 2009 and 2014, from 32,111 to 32,628, thanks to a rise in the number of GPs3. However, due to our growing and ageing population, the number of GPs per 100,000 of population has actually decreased, from 62.4 to 60.63. What’s more, the number of consultations is estimated to have increased by 23% over the parliament from 300 million to 370 million a year3.
“All parts of the NHS are struggling with ever-increasing patient demand, staff shortages and insufficient resources. Key areas – such as A&E and GP services – are under particular stress and in some cases are close to breaking point”, says Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association3.
It is no surprise that all the political parties are promising to fix the problem, variously proposing increased funding, longer opening hours, more doctors and shorter waiting times. But despite the solutions proffered in their manifestos, it is still unclear how they will meet their pledges. And that’s where Vitality can make a difference.
THE CLIENT-PATIENT CONNECTION
If you’re wondering what your clients’ GP appointments have to do with you, consider this: speedy access to effective healthcare is one of the key drivers to individuals taking out health insurance. However, many insurers’ policies fail at the first hurdle because access to their private medicine is only available following a referral from an NHS GP. The current high demand on NHS services means that patients may have to wait up to 10 days to see a doctor4.
By integrating Primary Care services and health insurance, Vitality GP helps to reduce the burden on the NHS, offering a completely private healthcare journey from initial consultation to treatment and onward referral. By taking demand away from regular GP provision, Vitality GP helps to reduce waiting lists and pressure on services. This benefits society as a whole while providing our members with the fast access to care that their expectations demand.
VITALITY GP: THE BETTER WAY TO GET BETTER
Vitality GP guarantees our members quick access to GPs on the day they need them, via a smartphone or tablet. Our members can consult a Vitality GP from home or work, with prescriptions delivered to their desk, if necessary.
Vitality GPs are able to refer members for ongoing tests or treatment, providing a seamless service, instead of segueing between the public and private health sectors. And because Vitality GPs can access essential information about members’ Vitality Healthchecks and history during consultation, they can suggest lifestyle changes to help improve wellbeing and reduce the risk of illness.
With its fast and efficient everyday care, it’s there for members whenever they need it, encouraging greater engagement between the individual, their adviser and their insurer. We know that ticks the box for better health insurance. Whichever party wins the General Election this May, there’s no better time to talk to your clients about Vitality and Vitality GP.
- A doctor’s perspective on telemedicine