POSTED: October 09 2020
Online wellbeing: surge in virtual healthcare

Online wellbeing: surge in virtual healthcare

There is a surge in the use of virtual health care since the beginning of lockdown with twice as many mental health appointments.

Employee benefits provider, Unum, has seen more than a 100% increase in the number of mental health appointments booked each month through its digital health and wellbeing app, Help@hand. The number of registrations has increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic with over 1,000 businesses now registered and over 200,000 employees eligible to use the services. The increase is in line with other healthcare insurers and providers who are also reporting a steady rise in the use of their virtual health and online GP services.

Compared with March, Unum has seen more than twice as many mental health appointments offered since the UK entered lockdown and now exceeds the number of physio appointments requested via the service. Unum has stated that 96% of these appointments were offered within two working days of the date they were requested, enabling employees to get medical advice swiftly as well as preventing long waiting periods, additional stress and time off work.

Peter O’Donnell, CEO of Unum UK commented: “Our remote healthcare service has been a lifeline for many over the past few months, facilitating access to mental health clinicians and GPs quickly without the need for face to face appointments and avoiding additional pressure on NHS resources. Of the mental health appointments provided by Help@hand [Unum’s health & wellbeing app] over the summer,76% related to stress, anxiety or depression. These are conditions that can benefit significantly from early support and intervention.”

“The challenges of the last six months have clearly had a physical, psychological or emotional impact on many workers and these pressures are likely to continue over the coming months. Employers can support wellbeing and productivity by ensuring their staff are fully aware of mental health support and other remote health services they have available to them.”

Unum’s Help@hand app, available to their members,  provides access for employees and their families to five key health and wellbeing service including remote GPs. Insured employees with an eligible Unum policy and their partners can access up to up to eight mental health consultations per year between them. The treatment plan is usually delivered via video consultation and can include supported online cognitive behavioural therapy modules. In person treatment may also be recommended by the therapist during a video consultation assessment.

If you would like to know more about how your employee benefits can support your employees in lockdown or need wider HR support then email advo on to start a conversation.