Presenteeism Problem Continues As 71% of People Go to Work When Unwell

A new study from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found that the problem of presenteeism continues to negatively affect businesses in the UK, with a huge 71% of people admitting to having gone to work despite being too unwell to do their job.

The reasons behind why UK workers are reluctant to take sick days range from a tough economic climate to a competitive job market. However, perhaps the greatest contributing factor behind turning up to work unwell is the inconvenience and difficulty that getting an appointment with a doctor at the clinic can present.

While some may believe that staff battling through illness to come into work shows signs of commitment to their employer, presenteeism is actually a major problem for businesses in the UK, with the spread of sickness often resulting in a whole bank, team or department suffering. This costs businesses both valuable man-power and money. Minor illness contribute to 30% of all staff sicknesses – for instance, coughs and colds – which are contagious. Sickness can rapidly spread and those employees who have turned up unwell are actually doing their company more harm than good.

ill staff at work

Thankfully, there is a solution to this growing problem. A week long wait to see a GP is no longer the case thanks to the innovative telehealth solution provided by Now GP. We offer patients instant access to a professional doctor via remote video consultation, at a time to suit them. This eliminates the need for lengthy waiting times and early-morning phone calls to try and get seen on time.

In the United Kingdom, 58 million people wait for over a week for a doctors appointment, with a staggering 286 million unable to get seen on the same day. We’re providing UK workers with a healthcare solution now, and with medicines delivered to a home or office address within hours, we are helping to combat both presenteeism and the spread of staff sickness.

Our service is available to the general public, as well as to businesses as part of our corporate packages which could save your company thousands of pounds. To discuss what Now GP could do for your business in the battle against presenteeism and staff sickness, give us a call today!


Now GP to Speak at Manchester mHealth Conference

Now Healthcare Group has been invited to share our thoughts on the current role and future of digital health technology at the Enable, Connect, Empower: The Digital Health Opportunity event at Citylabs in Manchester.

Hosted by eLucid mHealth, the afternoon will feature some of the leading influencers in the digital health industry as they deliver a series of insightful presentations and panel discussions on the digital health opportunity and the role that the North West is playing in the digital health revolution.

The world’s premier telehealth organisation will deliver a presentation on the growth of the Now GP platform and the ways in which digital health solutions can be successfully integrated into the UK healthcare system. We will be joined by keynote speakers Scott Andrews and Guido Schmitz, who are Head of Healthcare at Samsung and Director of Global Packaging Design at Bayer Consumer Care respectively.

This exclusive invite-only event will be hosted by Michael Taylor of Discuss Manchester, and will see a coming together of some of the most innovative and forward-thinking minds in healthcare.

The presentations will be followed by a full panel discussion and a Q&A session, providing guests with an opportunity to pitch their questions to the leading industry figures in attendance.

 


Stop Beating Up British Workforce on Productivity!

This week is all about launching our Occupational health product. In March 2006, there was less than 1m people in the UK waiting more than 48 hrs to see their GP. Currently, there are 105m routine GP appointments that require 3 days or more waiting time. An incredible 50m have to wait 7 days or more to see their GPs. At the same time economists say productivity has stalled.

Back in July 2015, the head of the government’s fiscal watchdog, Robert Chote, says Britain’s low rate of output per worker is the “biggest risk” to the UK’s long-term economic stability and if we fail to improve it, living standards and pay will remain frustratingly stubborn. Productivity in the UK as measured by economic output per worker per hour is lagging embarrassingly behind countries such as France, Germany and the United States. Is there a correlation between access to primary care and workforce productivity? We believe so. And we believe we have invented tools to help us improve access to primary care. When we started developing the innovative Now GP platform, our motivation was not restricted to providing convenience alone.

There is already plenty of evidence on the benefits to fast access to primary care. Get treated early, get back to health sooner! And employers are noticing too as the nation struggles to improve levels of productivity. This week we are at Employee benefits live expo at London’s Olympia (www.employeebenefitslive.co.uk) to launch our occupational health products.

Now GP estimates there are 37,700 corporates in the UK with 50 or more employees. In total these businesses employ some 13.1m people in the UK. The total potential savings on man-days lost amount to 23.5m, potentially >£2.8bn in cost savings to the UK economy.

We have structured a product that is tax efficient both for employee and employer, whilst providing the services required to improve productivity. Now GP provides your staff with medical care that, unlike other private medical insurance plans, doesn’t count as benefit-in-kind.

The P11D is a statutory form required by HMRC from employers based in the UK. It details the cash equivalents of benefits and expenses that they have provided during the tax year to their directors and employees earning more than £8,500 per year.

Come and see us at Olympia to talk through our bespoke products to suit your organisation. We can’t wait to get started!


GP Earnings Down Once Again

Official figures released this morning have shown that GP partners’ earnings dropped once again in 2013/2014 – making it the eighth year in a row that the average salary for a GP partner has been down on the previous year.

The annual GP Earnings and Expenses report, which is compiled by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, found that combined partner and salaried GP’s earnings before tax was now £90,200 – a 2.9% drop on levels from the previous year.

The salary of GP partners has fallen by 1.4% to 96,000 before employers’ superannuation costs are taken into account. Since a peak in 2005/2006 of £110,000 average pay, the amount has decreased every year since.

Strikingly it has also been announced the average income for the average salaried UK GP is now £54,600 – only 9% more than the £50,000 per year offered to physician associates with just two years’ training. This figure, coupled with the added pressure doctors are now under due to the strain on the nation’s health service, has led to GP leaders saying it is “no wonder” young doctors were shunning general practice.

The average GP wage in the United Kingdom has decreased by 3.3% in just one year, with Dr Richard Vautrey of the General Practitioners’ Committee (GPC) claiming that the figures “provide yet more evidence of the growing financial pressures faced by general practice.”

“With two thirds of a practice’s income being used on the basics of keeping a practice afloat, including paying for rising costs for utilities, building upkeep and vital staff such as receptionists and nurses, there is nothing left to develop effective patient services that meet patient’s growing needs,” said Dr Vautrey.

As the nation’s health service continues to buckle under ever-increasing pressure, the Now GP telehealth solution is more vital than ever before for doctors and patients alike – we provide certified GPs with the flexibility to do their job at hours to suit them whilst offering patients an innovative solution to their primary healthcare needs. Find out more – download the Now GP app today!

 


Two Thirds of UK Adults Call for New Technology in Healthcare

A recent YouGov poll has shown that more than 66% of adults in the United Kingdom believe that healthcare providers such as the NHS could and should use modern technology more in order to increase efficiency, improve patient outcomes and raise the overall patient experience.

As the public become more and more adept with technology and as new platforms develop and grow, there appears to be a strong feeling amongst Britons that new technology could bring with it a number of benefits to a National Health Service that is facing increasing pressure in terms of financial struggles and meeting the demands of patients.

The NHS has already put some plans in place to ensure that technology becomes a part of its service, such as the promise to provide all UK citizens with access to their GP records online by the end of the year. However, many feel that more advanced technology – such as telehealth – could bring more immediate benefits to the health system.

As the NHS faces more demand than ever from the British population, video consultations could make a huge difference in terms of ensuring that all patients receive the care they need from a qualified GP. Nearly half of UK adults surveyed stated that they would support the NHS giving patients the option of virtual consultations, with telehealth platforms such as Now GP designed to ease pressure on the health service by providing a convenient and reliable alternative to primary healthcare appointments at the local surgery.

Over 75% of UK adults believe that apps should be approved by the NHS in order to improve the experience of patients in the country. At a time when the National Health Service is under more scrutiny than ever, state of the art technology such as a Now GP can be a way for it transform the experience of patinets whilst easing pressure on itself.


Will NHS Cuts Jeopardise Patient Care?

NHS trusts around the United Kingdom have been ordered to draw up emergency plans due to the severe financial challenges that are facing the National Health Service, which have been described as “almost unprecedented.”

As a result of the growing financial crisis facing the NHS, trusts have been told to only “ensure vacancies are filled only where essential,” with nurses warning that such NHS cuts could potentially jeopardie patient care and hospital safety.

The orders have been issues by David Bennett, the Chief Executive of Monitor, the regulatory body of NHS England. He said on Monday:

“As you know, the NHS is facing an almost unprecedented financial challenge this year. Current plans are quite simply unaffordable.

“As I have said before, if we are to do the best we can for patients we must leave no stone unturned in our collective efforts to make the money we have go as far as possible.

“We are already reviewing and challenging the plans of the 46 foundation trusts with the biggest deficits. However, it is clear that this process will not close the funding gap and so all need all providers – even those planning a surplus this year – to look again at their plans to see what more can be done.”

The Royal College of Nursing has since expressed fears that decisions could damage patient care and have a negative impact on safety. Roger Goss, from Patient Concern, suggested that fewer staff will mean longer waits for patients, claiming that “longer waits for treatment will inevitably worsen patients’ suffering.”

As the NHS continues to face unrelenting pressure, it once again emphasises the benefits of telehealth platforms such as Now GP and how we can help to ease the pressure on the health service. By providing patients with convenient healthcare from the comfort of their own home, office or when they’re on the move, Now GP is not a replacement for the NHS – however, we offer patients an effective solution to help cope with the growing demands on the National Health Service.

Get in touch with us today to find out more.


Now GP in the National Press

We’re extremely proud to showcase some our recent press coverage following the launch of Now GP, with the platform recently featured in highly-regarded broadsheet publications The Times and The Guardian.

Our inclusion in these fantastic publications is testament to the high potential and industry-changing nature of the innovative new mobile application, with both papers focusing on our potential to reshape primary healthcare in the UK and beyond.

The Guardian explores Now GP’s status as the world’s first ever app to diagnose patients and also deliver medication directly to their door – setting us apart from rival companies in the telehealth industry.

Now GP is described as “providing a solution for today’s go-to society,”  making video consultations with GPs a more convenient option than a trip to your local practice. With the vast majority (90%) of GP diagnoses not relying on a physical examination, Now GP is bringing patients the instant primary healthcare – from fully-qualified and experienced doctors – that they need at the touch of a button.

For all further press enquiries, simply get in touch with jon.taylor@nowhealthcaregroup.com.

 

 


Top Tips for Ageing Better

We’re living longer and longer these days, but age isn’t just about a number – it’s about living healthily and happily for longer, too. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips for ageing better, from staying active and stopping smoking to the importance of a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep.

Exercise

Exercise is important for all of us, especially as we begin to get older. It’s important to ensure you stay active for as long as possible. As well as physical benefits, regular exercise can have positive effects on your brain, too.

Stop Smoking

Old habits die hard, but if you’re a smoker you are seriously harming your body and your brain – as you get older it’s important to remain as healthy as possible, and stopping smoking is imperative to ageing well and remaining healthy and happy.

Frequent Check-ups

As you get older, you need to make sure you have regular health checks to ensure there are no problems that you may not be aware of. This doesn’t mean you have to visit your local surgery frequently, though – the innovative Now GP app offers you a consultation with a professional GP from the comfort of your home.

Eat Well

A good diet is key to healthy and happy lifestyle as you get older. A good idea is to focus on eating food that is rich in nuts and whole grains, as well as fruit, vegetables and oily fish. You should also only drink alcohol in moderation.

Rest

There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, and as you get older it’s important to make sure you’re well rested. Most experts suggest that you should be sleeping for about eight hours a night.

Be Positive

Experts have discovered that a positive attitude towards growing older can help keep you happy and even increase your life expectancy by up to seven and a half years.

 

(Source: AgeUK)


70% of Doctors Prefer Telehealth Services

The healthcare industry to turning to telehealth solutions more and more across the UK and the rest of the world.

A new US-based study has revealed that almost 70% of doctors prefer working via telemedicine services as opposed to holding email or telephone consultations, claiming that they are more beneficial when it comes to diagnosing a patient’s health issue.

Of medical professionals willing to use video consultations to diagnose patients, 86% of them believe that telehealth video-based appointments are sufficient for both medication management and prescription renewals, while 80% believe that the service can also be applicable for chronic disease management.

The study, which was conducted by QuantiaMD and American Well, was based on a poll of more than 2,000 American primary care doctors – with results clearly showing that telemedicine services are growing in popularity in the healthcare industry across the globe.

Roy Schoenberg, CEO of American Well, said:

“There’s a sea change going on within the physician community. Doctors see value in virtual visits for their patients and also in managing their own work-life balance. We’ve seen weekly physician inquiries about practicing online triple in less than six months.”

As telehealth continues to rise, Now GP is leading the way across the globe as the world’s first mobile platform to offer the delivery of medications directly from an app-based consultation.

Our Clinical Director, Dr Andrew J Thornber, said of the ever-growing telehealth industry:

“Telehealth provides cost-effective, quality clinical care that can help ease the unrelenting pressure on healthcare providers to reduce costs and improve efficiency. There is a growing desire amongst consumers to quantify their lives and take control of their health, and Now GP offers the instant diagnosis needed to help prevent inappropriate hospital admissions, stop conditions from getting worse over time and give patients timely access to a professional opinion when they need one.”


Top Festival Tips

Music festivals have become a major feature of the great British summer, with thousands of gig-goers heading to campsites and parks across the country over the next couple of months. Most festival tips will advise you to remember to pack your wellies and waterproofs, but we’ve canvassed the Now GP office to come up with some advice to allow you to look after your health at festivals this summer.

There are a few essential items that you should be taking, such as medication to counter stomach upsets or diarrhoea. The chances are your diet during the festival won’t be fantastic, so simple stomach medicine or even basic painkillers can help to make your weekend a lot more enjoyable – and limit trips to the dreaded portaloos.

Suncream of SPF 15 or higher is also a must, as are antiseptic hand gel and wipes.

If you take regular prescription medication, remember to take enough prescription to last, and if you use inhalers you should always keep them handy – it’s no use getting down to the front to see your favourite band if you have to run back halfway through the set to grab your inhaler.

All festivals are busy and noisy events – it’s important to stay with a group of friends and never leave one of your party on their own. It’s a good idea to organise a meeting point, preferably near a notable landmark, in case you do get split up.

Don’t ruin your weekend by drinking too much alchool too quickly – if you are planning on drinking, try to alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water on a regular basis.

Stay safe, enjoy the music and make sure it’s a weekend you’ll never forget – not one that you can’t remember.