Bupa UK has become the first health insurer to be rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - receiving an overall rating of ‘Good’. The CQC looked at whether services were safe, effective, caring, responsive to the needs of customers, and well-led, rating Bupa ‘Good’ in all five areas.
Inspectors assessed Bupa’s specialist patient support services, which offer insurance customers access to a team of specialist clinicians including oncology and cardiac nurses. They provide medical advice and support on health and wellbeing over the phone, handling over 6,000 calls a day. It includes Bupa Direct Access - a telephone-based self-referral service, which removes the need for a GP referral and allows customers to access specialist diagnosis services if they’re worried about cancer symptoms, mental health, or musculoskeletal injuries. The result is earlier diagnosis and better outcomes for patients.
Staff were praised for their compassionate care, with inspectors highlighting that they “involved and treated people with kindness, dignity and respect.” Staff also understood customers’ personal, cultural, social and religious needs, and “displayed an understanding and non-judgemental attitude to all customers”.
Alex Perry, CEO, Bupa UK Insurance, said: “I am incredibly proud of the team for being rated ‘Good’ in all areas of the CQC report. We are committed to driving quality throughout our business and are the first insurer to go through a CQC inspection and receive a rating. We value the insight external inspection can give and welcome these conclusions to ensure we continue to deliver the highest standards of care for our customers.”
Bupa is recognised for its good safety record in the report, and inspectors cited many examples of good practice, including:
- Good systems to manage risk so that safety incidents were less likely to happen.
- An understanding from staff of their responsibilities to manage emergencies and to recognise when customers need urgent medical attention – for example those with severe infections.
- Routine reviews of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the care it provides to ensure care and treatment is delivered according to evidence-based guidelines.
- Clear systems to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse.
The service was also commended for its acts of kindness scheme, which allows staff to send a personal gift each month to a customer who might be going through a tough time. Since launching in May 2018, more than 750 gifts have been sent.
Dr Luke James, Medical Director, Bupa UK Insurance said: “In the past insurers haven’t been regulated and rated by the CQC, however the consultants and hospitals we work with are. As our specialist support teams offer patients help alongside the care provided by their consultants, we believe it’s important that we demonstrate the quality of the advice and support we’re offering.”