New research conducted by health and wellbeing provider, BHSF, reveals that 69% of employees take more than an hour off work to visit their GP – with one in five needing to take two hours or more off.
On top of having to take time off work and a lengthy commute, there’s also more than a week’s wait for around a third of GP appointments – and for 18%, a wait of two weeks or more.
The time taken to actually see their GP isn’t the only barrier. In a survey by Cancer Research UK, 39.5% of people admitted that they disliked having to speak to the GP’s receptionist about their symptoms.
Add all of these barriers together, plus the feeling that employees are ‘too busy’ to visit their doctor, and it’s a recipe for missed diagnoses and increased presenteeism – when employees come to work despite being ill.
But there is a way that employees can get fast support from a doctor. Compare time taken to physically see a doctor to using a GP helpline, and the difference is stark. 65% of calls take just 10 minutes or less. Plus, these calls can be made at a time that suits the employee – before or after work, during a break, or even at the weekend. As half of the UK population report feeling time poor, providing employees with 24/7 access to medical support over the phone could save them time, and encourage them to better look after their health.
Brian Hall – Chief Commercial Officer at BHSF, said:
“These figures show the significant impact that something as simple as visiting the GP can have on the workplace.
“There’s no denying that the NHS is under growing pressure, and struggling to cope with the demands of a growing and ageing population.
“Employers can improve the situation by offering benefits that will make a real difference to their employees’ physical health and wellbeing, at the same time as taking some of the pressure off the NHS. Providing this support via an app – like BHSF Connect, puts it at the fingertips of employees.”