03 March 2022 - Paul Connolly

What can employers do in response to the increasing NHS waiting lists?

The National Health Service (NHS) has provided care and support for the UK population for over 74 years. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen great strain placed on the NHS to continue to provide its outstanding service in the face of staff shortages and increased demand for both Covid and non-Covid patients.

It is estimated that there are currently six million people on an NHS waiting list, equating to around one in nine of the population. Whilst plans have been put in place to reduce these numbers as soon as possible, it is understandable that priorities will be placed on those with life threatening illnesses.

So, what does that mean for employees who have less urgent medical needs, but are unable to work due to their illness?

Employers have battled with staff shortages over the last 2 years due to COVID cases, people caring for vulnerable dependants and those with other conditions that have made them unable to work; this has been especially significant for businesses that have an aging workforce.

The pandemic has seen a huge shift in priority towards health and wellbeing, for both employees and employers, and benefits packages that once focused upon financial benefits are now stepping up their game in terms of private medical insurance and health cash plans. The numbers speak for themselves, when considering that the number of people buying private medical insurance has doubled in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

As an employer, providing your staff with these services will most likely mean seeing a faster return to work for those that are able to use a private healthcare option and skip the NHS waiting times, or for those that make use of the additional services that are often included within healthcare schemes, such as Digital GP appointments and access to Mental Health support services.

And there’s more… the additional benefits of this include the improvement of workplace culture and engagement from employees, who are likely to feel more valued and therefore more productive in a business that they feel are prioritising their health and wellbeing.

At Incorporate Benefits, we can help HR and Business leaders look at all the available options, costs and added value services and advise you on the right options for your team as we leverage our years of experience and knowledge supporting businesses across the UK and globally.

Paul Connolly