Scottish Equitable has joined forces with RED ARC to bring a new emotional support element to its group critical illness insurance
If a doctor ever tells you that you are suffering from a critical illness you probably will not be listening to much else they have to say.
It is in times like these that you need to talk to a medical expert when you get home, about all the questions you did not ask the consultant.
And also about how you and your family are going to cope.
Scottish Equitable believes this is a need that should not be overlooked.
To help its group critical illness (CI) scheme members cope, the provider has teamed up with independent care adviser RED ARC to offer a service that provides emotional as well as practical support.
This service, which is offered as an added benefit on all Scottish Equitable group CI schemes, gives all members access to personal nurse advisers when they are diagnosed with a critical illness.
The RED ARC and Scottish Equitable partnership was announced in October 2005 and a recent launch saw the service offered to the whole of the market in May 2006.
"By teaming up with RED ARC we are offering the support needed when someone is going through an extremely difficult time.
"We believe that by providing this benefit, in addition to a financial payout, we are filling a real gap in the market," says Christina Donaldson, employee benefits product marketing manager at Scottish Equitable.
"When someone is diagnosed with a critical illness there is a significant impact on both them and their family. Therefore, they will need more than just medical care," she explains.
"In general, the NHS focuses on medical care but there is a need from patients to receive emotional support as well as practical advice," Donaldson adds.
The RED ARC service is designed to complement any NHS or private treatment a claimant receives from their doctor or specialist.
When a claim is made, a RED ARC personal nurse adviser will contact the member to answer any questions or concerns they might have about their condition.
This then establishes a relationship that lasts for the duration of their illness.
The personal nurse adviser is available at the end of the phone to offer emotional support, and practical advice and assistance.
This can range from providing RED ARC extra physiotherapy to counselling as well as other support services.
And remember the personal nurse adviser is there to support the whole family, not just the member.
Richard Thomas, managing director of RED ARC, says: "The service is there for families. They can also speak with a RED ARC nurse to understand more about the illness and also the treatment.
"Issues such as how to tell the children about a parent's illness are very important and RED ARC can help with this.
"It is this one-to-one service that people need when they are coming to terms with a diagnosis.
"We have found that most people are comfortable talking about their health and family life with nurses," he says.
All RED ARC nurses are registered general nurses or they hold equivalent health professional qualifications. They have a minimum of 10 years' experience.
Scottish Equitable is also extending the RED ARC service to employers, HR managers and line mangers, to help them better understand their employee's condition and its effect.
"A lot of businesses do not have the experience, the staff or the training to cope in these situations.
"That is why our service can help," says Donaldson.
The RED ARC personal nurse adviser will talk to the employer in very general terms about the member's condition, what the treatment may involve, the side effects of any treatment and what they might expect should the member wish to return to work during their treatment.
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