Cardiff-based Legal & General Group Protection says that usage data for virtual GP consultations and mental health support – integral to its Be Well. Get Better. Be Supported. wellbeing framework – reveals that more than 1 in 10 (12%) cases were for dependants under 18 years of age. Additionally, almost 18% of registrations to the service are for dependants under 18 years of age.
These findings form part of total usage data since the launch of Legal & General’s virtual GP, provided by Teladoc Health UK from July 2022 to October 2023. In addition to 24/7 365 days a year access to GPs, the full range of services features mental health support – including child mental health consultations, physiotherapy assessments and consultations, plus fast-track access to expert consultants from multiple disciplines.
All the facilities are available on-demand through the Health365 app or online portal, to Legal & General group income protection’s insured population and their dependants. It can also be made available in many instances to additional employees not covered by Legal & General’s group income protection.1
The release of this data on dependants’ usage comes as the UK is experiencing ever-widening health inequalities, according to Legal & General’s latest Rebuilding Britain Index.2
On mental health specifically, reports suggest that 1 in 6 children aged 5-16 years old is likely to have a mental health problem.3
The availability of child mental health referrals is as valuable as the GP consultations, says Legal & General, highlighting reports that NHS waiting lists for all-age mental health support can be anywhere between 2 weeks to 22 weeks, depending on where in the UK an individual lives.4
James Walker, Head of Product and Proposition at Legal & General Group Protection, comments: “By having Group income protection in place, employers are not only helping extend essential primary care support to their employees, whether we’re covering them or not, but also to their dependants. This brings value to employees, relieving the worry that comes when their child is unwell. And it brings value to businesses, in terms of contributing to DEI goals, plus Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategy in the process.
“In providing on demand access to such services, we’re doing our part to help create good work that’s beneficial for health; enabling more working age people to thrive in the workplace by levelling up access.”
Rebecca White, Director of Operations, Teladoc Health UK, adds: “At a time when NHS resources are more over-stretched than ever, feedback from the users of our service suggests that it’s truly a relief to be able to gain access when needed to the right diagnoses, medications and mental health support. Never more so than where a child is concerned. A child’s mental health is as much a worry for parents as for their own health and enabling swift access to experts in the face of significant waits for NHS services is invaluable.
“The service is proven to help reduce pressure on the NHS. Our latest patient satisfaction data for our relationship with Legal & General, reveals that if they hadn’t used the GP service, 68% would have seen their GP at the next available appointment and 11% would have gone to emergency/urgent care. It also reduces pressure on employers and employees.”
Legal & General says their virtual GP services sit alongside and complements its existing digital health support services, as part of the company’s outcomes-focused wellbeing framework; Be Well, Get Better, Be Supported.
Virtual GP is available to all Legal & General’s Group income protection clients, through their Virtual Clinic. As well as the services mentioned in this press release, their Virtual Clinic also includes an enhanced Employee Assistance Programme and various wellbeing solutions – from a digital gym to financial wellbeing support and online discounts – from Spectrum.Life, also long-term condition support and services from the CONNECTPlus app from HCI Digital.
1 Where a minimum of 60% of all employees are covered by Legal & General’s group income protection, they’ll consider offering the Virtual GP service to all employees for that employer.