Rapid cardiac assessment service now available to all Bupa UK health insurance customers
Bupa UK is offering remote access to cardiologist consultation within 36 hours of contacting its specialist triage team.
The new service has been introduced amid growing concern from cardiologists that thousands of people may be putting themselves at greater risk of long-term heart damage having delayed seeking medical help during the pandemic.
At the height of the lockdown (during 8 March to 30 May), Bupa saw a 60% drop in customer requests for an initial consultation with a cardiologist compared to the same period last year. Similarly, the British Heart Foundation reports that the number of people attending hospital with a suspected heart attack has halved during lockdown.
Alex Perry, CEO, Bupa UK Insurance said: "If you're suffering from cardiac symptoms, like chest pains or palpitations, it's vital that you do not delay seeking specialist support. During the current crisis we know that some people have been reluctant to come forward to get symptoms checked, which could lead to serious health problems in the long-term.
"Our rapid cardiac assessment service provides reassurance for patients who may be anxious about seeking help, offering fast access to specialist diagnosis from the safety and comfort of their own home."
The new service, which has been successfully piloted in London, offers customers a video consultation with a cardiologist within 36 hours of contacting a specialist triage team - much faster than the usual time to arrange a face-to-face appointment. If further investigation is needed to support a diagnosis, the latest electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood test kits can be sent direct to a customer's home and a follow up video consultation arranged at no extra cost to discuss the results and next steps.
Dr Ravi Assomull, a consultant cardiologist who has been supporting patients with the rapid cardiac assessment service, said: "Patients with heart palpitations benefit particularly well from this as the whole pathway can be conducted exclusively at home with a full diagnosis and management plan reached in a timely fashion. The convenience and clinical robustness of these investigations suggest that these may have a lasting role even after the threats from the Covid-19 pandemic recedes."
Watch the video below to find out how it works.
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