Majority plan to change how they use NHS - AIG Life

Nearly six in 10

Adam Saville
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Majority plan to change how they use NHS - AIG Life

Study shows patients in UK shifting responsibility away from public health system due to Covid

Research from AIG Life has revealed that nearly six in 10 adults plan to change the way they use NHS services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, indicating a shift towards people taking more responsibility for their own health.

The nationwide survey of almost 1000 UK adults found that 59% said they will take a different approach to healthcare so that the NHS and GPs can concentrate on more serious matters. For example, nearly nine in 10 admitted the pandemic has made them realise they have a greater responsibility to manage their individual health and wellness, while the same number said everyone needs to be more health-conscious.

More than four out of five (82%) said they will only see their GP for what they regard as important health issues in the future, while 81% said they are happy to have phone consultations and 72% would accept video calls.

According to NHS Digital data for England, there were more than 20.1 million GP appointments during August, with 50% taking place the same day and 43% carried out over the phone.

AIG found that use of its Smart Health app, which offers a 24-hour GP service, has doubled since the UK first went into lockdown in March. In September, we reported that one in six (16%) using the service have booked a phone or video appointment with a UK-registered GP at the weekend and 30% of GP calls are taking place outside working hours.  

Changing attitude

Alison Esson, propositions manager at AIG Life, said: "The coronavirus crisis is changing how we live and changing our attitudes to how we use and support the NHS.

"People feel they have to take more responsibility for their own physical and mental health but it's really important too that we seek help from medical experts when it is needed.

"We've seen that happening with our Smart Health app - customers are aware that they need to act on their health. They're making use of the service to fit in with their own lifestyles by booking out of hours appointments, and a quarter of GP onward referrals are to its psychologists to help manage anxiety, low mood and depression."

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