Bupa UK Insurance expands remote health services

25 June 2020 . United Kingdom

  • Bupa UK Insurance expands its range of remote services to meet demand, helping customers stay in control of their physical and mental health from home.
  • Bupa From Home supports customers who are worried about visiting a clinic or hospital in person.
  • Remote services provide quick, convenient access for anyone.
Online GP using tablet

Bupa UK Insurance has enhanced its Bupa From Home service – its package of remote services to help people stay in control of their health, offering around-the-clock access to expert advice and care from the safety of home.

While hospitals have introduced a range of measures to ensure their services are safe, concerns about Covid-19 have made many people reluctant to leave home to access healthcare. Doctors are increasingly concerned that people are putting off seeking help for serious and time-critical conditions, which is reflected in the sharp drop in GP referrals for cancer and mental health conditions1.

In response, Bupa has expanded ways for customers to access the healthcare they need and the range of self help and support services available. Through Bupa From Home customers can get advice from nurses on everyday health concerns, treatment from GPs, physios and mental health therapists, and fast access to diagnosis and treatment for critical conditions such as cancer, cardiac and mental health. Bupa can also connect customers to thousands of consultants who have confirmed they are offering remote consultations.

Particular focus is being placed on innovations to support people with heart problems and cancer, who are considered vulnerable to Covid-19, and who may have put off seeking help during the pandemic. Eight million people in the UK are considered vulnerable because of underlying health conditions2 so having new pathways to support these groups is critical.

Following a successful pilot and strong uptake, Bupa has expanded a rapid cardiac assessment service to all health insurance customers. This enables them to have assessments with in-depth triage by video consultation, and diagnostic testing from home, speeding up access and reducing the need for face-to-face visits. And Bupa’s chemotherapy at home service has been expanded so more people can choose to receive treatment without needing to attend hospital.

Remote care has emerged as a vital tool during the pandemic and Bupa has seen an upsurge in demand from its customers over this period. The number of appointments through Bupa’s Digital GP service has increased threefold since March and calls to Bupa’s Anytime Healthline have more than doubled compared to the previous year.

Alex Perry, CEO, Bupa UK Insurance said: “This pandemic has seen a huge increase in the use of healthcare delivered by phone, video or in the home. Now more than ever, customers are looking for safe and convenient ways to access advice and care to support their physical and mental health. Bupa has been at forefront of innovative new services over the past few years and expanded them in response to this crisis. Bupa from Home provides reassurance for customers knowing they can speak to a full range of experts easily and often on the same day, to get the help, support and advice they want and need.”

Current Bupa From Home offer includes:

  • Fast support for cancer, mental health and MSK: the Direct Access team can assess a customer’s symptoms to provide fast reassurance or refer on to a specialist, often without needing to see a GP first.
  • See a GP from home: access to expert advice, diagnosis and prescriptions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through our video GP service, in partnership with Babylon.
  • Talk to a nurse 24/7: customers can call our Anytime HealthLine for general health and wellbeing advice. Lines are open and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Remote consultant appointments: telephone and video consultations with a Bupa-recognised consultant. 
  • Support for mental health and wellbeing: customers with mental health cover in their policies now have the option of consultations with Bupa-recognised therapists over the phone or video, plus on-line cognitive behavioural therapy. Parents and carers of children can also call our Family Mental HealthLine where our trained advisers and mental health nurses can offer support. 
  • Support for heart problems: customers suffering from cardiac symptoms, like chest pains or palpitations, can have a consultation with a cardiologist within 36 hours of speaking to the specialist triage team. If further tests are needed, the latest at home diagnostics are available. 
  • Chemotherapy at home for cancer patients: – customers can have their treatment through our recently expanded at home chemotherapy service
  • Talk to a physiotherapist: Bupa-recognised physiotherapists are on hand, via telephone or video consultations to assess your condition and design personalised exercise programmes.
  • Advice on preparing for treatment: personalised advice to help customers stay on top of their health. This can include pain management, prehabilitation, plus health coaching and lifestyle advice.
  • Emergency dental remote support: Bupa Dental Insurance and Cash Plan customers who are midway through treatment or have an emergency can have a consultation with a Bupa dentist either by telephone or by arranging a video conference.

Notes to editor

1 Mental health referrals decline by estimated 30-40% during pandemic. Source: Pulse Today

The number of people being assessed by a cancer doctor after referral fell to 79,500 in April - a drop of 60% compared to the same month last year. Source: BBC News

2 20% are vulnerable from common conditions such as obesity and heart problems. Source: The Guardian

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives and making a better world.

We are an international healthcare company serving over 31 million customers worldwide. With no shareholders, we reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

We directly employ around 85,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.