With over 21 years supporting a wide range of patients and conditions with long-term practical advice and emotional support, RedArc’s records are a barometer of the UK’s mental health: in the early 2000s, shortly after the business was founded, patients requiring support for mental health conditions comprised less than 1 per cent of all cases, but by 2018 it had become the single biggest reason for referral at 27 per cent, followed by cancer at 21 per cent.
“It’s remarkable how much our world has changed in just two decades,” said Christine Husbands, managing director, RedArc Nurses. “Back in 1998, no-one could have predicted that mental health problems would have become as prevalent as they currently are. Whilst the dawning of the digital age has had its part to play in the deteriorating mental health of our nation, technology can also be a great enabler to help solve some of these problems too. No doubt the next 21 years will bring similar challenges given the pressures on our state health and welfare systems – in particular, publicity rightly encouraging people to get help for mental health conditions will no doubt continue to increase demand in this area.
“For those in most need, human support will always be at our core, but in line with the thinking leading to our current app partnership, we’ll also look to develop new digital solutions that help individuals take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, offer joined up early intervention, and facilitate easy access to expert human help when needed.”
21 years in review
- Over the past 21 years RedArc has worked with over 95 organisations ranging from group & individual protection insurers, general insurers, affinity groups, trade unions, police federations, friendly societies to intermediaries and employers.
- The company has helped over 32,500 individuals via 143,000 telephone calls, 37,435 letters 11,823 emails and 9,500 external services, such as courses of counselling and therapy.
- The longest length of support offered to a patient was 12 years.
- Currently over 2 million people are eligible to use RedArc’s services.
- In 2018 mental health was the most referred condition (27%), followed by cancer (21%), orthopaedic (11%) and bereavement (10%) – and specific conditions spanning all life stages from cradle to grave including pregnancy, childhood illnesses, ophthalmic, trauma and geriatric-specific issues.
- Additional services available have grown from a modest list of therapies such as physiotherapy, speech and language, limited complementary therapies and counselling to virtually a limitless list including acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitisation reprogramming (EMDR), private consultations, second medical opinions, and domestic help at home.
- Access to mobile apps is now regularly provided to help people manage mental health and other long-term conditions, including via the company’s new ‘digital and human’ partnership with Thrive.
- The business was founded in February 1998 to offer advice and support to people regarding elder care – aimed at high net worth individuals/executives who needed help with organising care for parents.
- By the millennium, the direction of the business had changed to offer support for critical illness claimants, and by the end of the decade demand for support for mental health cases was beginning to grow
- In 2006, The Private Health Partnership bought the business. By then, the client base included protection insurers and police schemes and employed 10 staff.
- In 2007 the company relocated from Hove to Chester.
- In 2018 mental health is the single largest health condition at 27 per cent.
- Christine Husbands, who had previously been Group Financial Director at The Private Health Partnership, took over as Managing Director in 2010 and then led the business to 23 staff by 2019, during which time PHP and its subsidiary RedArc was acquired by Punter Southall.
- On 1 February 2019, Punter Southall Health and Protection Holdings, including RedArc, was acquired by Howden, part of Hyperion Insurance Group.
Christine Husbands said:
“We’re hugely proud of the numbers of organisations and patients that we’ve supported over the years but our greatest success really is at a personal level when we make such a difference to an individual, usually at times of the greatest difficulty in their lives. This not only benefits the individual directly but also helps the employer, as we can help staff recover more quickly, which can also support a return to work – we can help people recover in 3-4 months, whereas it’s not unusual for people to wait that long on NHS waiting lists before even being seen.
“Above and beyond impacting claims, our services also bring trust and a human touch to insurers with overwhelming feedback from patients who say they have an enhanced view of their insurer after receiving support.”