Towergate Health & Protection today announces it is launching a new online GP service. GP Hero enables employees to receive unlimited advice, reassurance and, where appropriate, diagnosis, from a practising doctor remotely from wherever they are in the world. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will be offered by Towergate Health & Protection to SME, corporate PMI and group risk clients who wish to provide employees and their families with fast access to primary care services.
Health and wellbeing behaviours have changed
The pandemic has resulted in long-term changes in health and wellbeing behaviours. There has been a sea-change in attitudes regarding accessing healthcare remotely with many people now actively preferring this option. The launch of GP Hero is in direct response to this requirement. It allows employers to deliver a whole-of-workforce solution and extended online GP access, which traditionally has only been available to those employees insured on private medical insurance (PMI) or group risk insurance policies.
Brett Hill, Distribution Director at Towergate Health & Protection, explains: “The benefits of fast, convenient online access to a GP have long been recognised, and the pandemic saw the rapid roll out of online GP services to PMI customers in the spring of 2020. However, not all employers can afford to provide every employee with PMI, so we have partnered with HealthHero to deliver an affordable way for SMEs to extend online GP access beyond their insured workforce at a critical time when NHS GP practices across the country will be occupied with the roll out of the UK’s Covid vaccination programme throughout the course of 2021.”
The launch is part of a wider initiative to facilitate access to remote clinical services for Towergate Health & Protection’s clients.
To improve access to mental health support for SMEs an employee assistance programme (EAP) was launched last summer offering online video counselling services, and as demand for mental health support has surged during the pandemic online counselling sessions now account for over a third of all sessions provided by the service.
The company also launched an agreement with Ascenti in November to provide SMEs with access to Ascenti’s pioneering high quality remote physiotherapy services for their employees, with preferential rates for Towergate Health & Protection’s clients. For employees insured on a cash plan in particular this helps their benefits go further, providing enhanced value for employers and better outcomes for employees.
The GP Hero service is now officially open for enrolment. The minimum group size is just three employees and the service can also be used from overseas. The GP Hero service is provided by HealthHero (formerly Medical Solutions, a provider with a long-standing track record of providing GP telemedicine services to health insurance customers, over more than 20 years).
Paul Nattrass, Commercial Director at HealthHero, says: “Employees can speak to our 24/7 Customer Services Team or simply book online, choosing between a phone or video appointment and a male or female GP. There is a translation service, covering over 200 languages, for users for whom English may not be their first language. All our GPs are experienced, practising NHS doctors who have exactly the same qualifications and experience as patients’ own GPs. Private prescriptions can be issued for collection from a pharmacy or delivery to any UK address. If symptoms require further investigation or treatment, the GPs can issue an open private referral letter to enable access to continued treatment. We are delighted to be able to give Towergate Health & Protection’s clients the peace of mind that they can consult with a GP and get expert medical support and advice at any time and from anywhere.”
Brett Hill concludes: “We are really excited by this new service. It means that companies of all sizes will be able to offer online GP access to all employees. This is a highly valuable and valued employee benefit, which will bring tangible positive support in these unprecedented difficult times.”