BUPA has launched a new health line for company employees and their families covered by BUPA policies.
The BUPA Healthline is staffed by a team of nurses who can give confidential information, guidance and support on a wide range of health concerns.
The operations centre is based in Salford Quays, Manchester and the service will cover 200,000 employees in five major corporations in the next few weeks.
Backed by an on-call team of BUPA’s own doctors, the nurses staffing the helpline have been recruited from a broad spectrum of niche areas and have access to a specialised database. This lists over 27,000 pages of medical conditions, diseases, ailments and treatment options. The nurses also have access to information on overseas travel and patient support groups.
With an average of 3.5% of the workforce absent at any one time, the CBI estimates that the direct cost of sickness absence costs British industry £10bn a year, with the indirect costs of reduced competitiveness, reduced customer service and lowered employee morale adding an estimated further £6bn to this cost.
Peter Jacobs, BUPA’s chief executive said: “These figures provide a sound business case for companies to make a further investment in the management of employee health, particularly when many of the factors driving this level of ill health are preventable.”
He added: “The BUPA Healthline is designed to help reduce absence from the workplace by addressing health concerns at an early stage. It enables the employer to make cost savings by providing appropriate health and clinical information and advice on the different treatment options available. It also give employees and their families information when they need it.”
BUPA is looking to introduce this service to personal members in due course.