Shire Health & Wellbeing Insights

COVID-19: The long term impact on the NHS

November 11, 2020

COVID-19: The long term impact on the NHS

The pandemic has placed huge pressure on an already struggling NHS and will undoubtedly have a long-term effect on our healthcare system. With the ongoing impact, you are probably wondering what bearing a struggling NHS will have on your business and employees.

Having a healthy workforce is a top priority for every employer. Yet with the NHS under increasing strain as a result of Covid-19, business owners are turning to employee healthcare packages to help staff stay fit and well, in order to keep their businesses running smoothly.


Pressure on NHS staff 

Stress levels among NHS staff were high before the pandemic struck. Today, the problem is even more acute. 

According to a recent survey by the Doctors’ Association UK, more than 1,000 doctors plan to leave the NHS over the government’s handling of the recent crisis. It’s a similar story among nurses, with a third considering leaving the NHS in the next year, according to research by the Royal College of Nursing. 

These findings raise concerns over the ongoing NHS crisis and highlight the challenge our healthcare system faces in delivering care to those in need. It may have also made you wonder how you will get staff back to full health if needed. 


Patients needing healthcare  

Before the pandemic, the majority of healthcare in the UK was dedicated to treating long-term conditions. The Covid-19 outbreak meant that many patients were either unable, or chose not to,  access these services through the NHS. 

New analysis by the Health Foundation shows that even before the current pandemic hit, NHS patients were having to wait a standard 18 weeks before receiving treatment or ongoing appointments, with many of these patients surpassing the 18 week mark.

Without a radical intervention to increase capacity, it is unrealistic to expect the 18 week standard to be achieved by 2024 with the current infrastructure and staffing levels.  

These concerns are echoed in data surrounding GP appointments, with a drop in the number of face-to-face appointments. Whether it’s the virus monopolising GPs’ time, or your staff not wanting to overload the NHS, a lack of access to early medical intervention could have a serious impact on your employees’ health. 


Routine care targets 

With infection rates rising again, you need to be mindful of the knock-on effect this could have on your employees. 

In January 2020, before coronavirus took hold in the UK, 4.4 million patients were on waiting lists for routine hospital treatment. With the pandemic increasing waiting time further, patients are going to find themselves waiting even longer for the healthcare they need. A Private Medical Insurance policy aims to overcome such delays. 

NHS resources are stretched to the limit, but employee healthcare benefits will remain available, allowing you to support your staff and provide security in uncertain times. 


The future of healthcare 

Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through the economy, but it is people who will be most impacted. Everyone should have access to quality healthcare, and for that, we need change – from the way routine care is delivered to a more prominent role for private medical care. Business health insurance offers your employees access to private medical treatment – meaning faster access to care when they need it most. 

At Shire Health & Wellbeing, we can help you to give your staff the quality healthcare cover they deserve, helping with GP access and waiting times for non-chronic health conditions. Our employee healthcare packages include Private Medical Insurance, Cash Plan Schemes and Critical Illness Cover. Giving you a healthier, happier, more productive workforce. 

Get in touch today, so we can discuss your needs.

Latest Blog

Support your staff during lockdown and beyond

The lockdown feels a little different this time round, with vaccines providing the light at the end of the tunnel. For employers...

Want to speak directly with a member of the Shire Health team?

Give us a call today, we would love to discuss your requirements.