Whole person health: all you need to know
Private corporate healthcare is traditionally designed to focus on treating the problem – when an employee sees their GP with certain signs or symptoms, they get a private specialist referral and access to cover on their company plan. However, forward thinking healthcare providers are now starting to shift the focus. Preventative plan benefits and services are being introduced to empower employees to take a more proactive approach to their physical and mental health.
The preventative health philosophy helps people achieve the right balance in life – when our body, spirit and mind are in alignment, we feel good and can cope with everything life throws at us. When health problems persist or go undetected, they become more difficult and costly to treat successfully. That’s why preventative care, along with early intervention measures are so important. By focusing on a person’s physical and mental condition and spotting symptoms at an early stage, there’s much greater chance of achieving a speedy recovery - better still if this prevents the illness occurring at all.
According to the British Medical Association, 50% of all GP appointments in the UK relate to preventable ill-health1. These are long-term chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes which are brought about or made worse by lifestyle behaviour. There are about 15 million adults in the UK today living with these conditions2 and as people live longer many will do so experiencing low quality of life.
The effects of preventable ill-health are far-reaching. It affects the individuals concerned and their families and also takes its toll on the workplace, as employers balance their duty of care with the reality of managing long-term absenteeism and operational disruption.
With over 130 million working days lost to illness each year in the UK2, employers are turning to company healthcare to protect their most valuable asset. Investing in plans that give employees access to the care they need when they’re unwell, offer screening checks if they have a concern and empower them with tools to stay fit and healthy is the best way to keep the wheels turning.
While there’ll always be a need for some people to see a doctor or attend hospital, there are preventative steps employees can take to help avoid future ill health. Nobody’s perfect. We’re all prone to make wrong lifestyle choices and neglect our health when encouragement and motivation are lacking. In the workplace there’s strength in numbers and with the support of friends and colleagues, it’s easier to stick to a healthy regime and deal with the demands of today’s always-on culture.
By investing in healthcare plans that focus on prevention and support whole person health, employers can make a huge difference and send out a powerful message that they put the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees first.
Cigna is a leading provider of preventative and holistic healthcare solutions that help employees to stay fit and well and keep them on the path to better health. To find out more about our NEW preventative benefits click here.
Looking to safeguard your employees' health with a holistic healthcare solution? Get in touch to find out more about how we can help empower your employees to stay healthy, fit and productive.
1 British Medical Association, Prevention before Cure / Dept of Health, Long Term Conditions Compendium of Information
2 British Medical Association, Prevention before Cure / Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research, The Rising Tide of Multiple Long-Term Conditions