Hello Good Reader, trusting that you’re relatively fit and well – Welcome to July Health News! I wanted to kick-off with some thoughts on ‘Long Covid’, with the office of national statistics reporting (4th June) that 376,000 have Long Covid symptoms lasting more than 12 months, and 869,000 having suffered symptoms for 3+ months, therefore 1,245,000 in total. With these high numbers in mind, it begs the question whether we’re starting to see the beginning of a new chronic health condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes for instance, once diagnosed then subsequently often having to bear with for life, managed only rather than cured, with medication, diet and consultation?
The lockdown has of course completely accelerated the online digital platforms of Private Medical Insurance providers, with B.U.P.A. and Vitality trailblazing the way of online self-diagnosis as well as self-authorisation of claims. At Vitality’s ‘Digital Healthcare Now!’ webinar (23rd June) they showcased their latest digital innovations including ‘Premier Consultant Panel’, giving the claimant more advice and help, incorporating comparatives, in choosing that all important consultant via their ‘Care Hub’ which also includes an online self referral and claims process, which Vitality flag-up that this digital platform now makes up the majority of their claims.
At today’s annual industry magazine ‘Cover’’s webinar Conference (30th June), B.U.P.A.’s Dr. Petra Simic gave a rousing appraisal of the current health scene, pinpointing a worrying rise in alcohol related illnesses, along with mental health as well as cancer. Doctor Simic also pointed out that 1/3 of Covid sufferers still had at least one symptom after 12 weeks, with a half of those having two or more. B.U.P.A.’s online digital platform includes a self-administered skin analysis system which has been receiving rave reviews.
You may have read or heard about the new patient data strategy being rolled out this autumn which Cover magazine flagged up (22nd June) detailing – “The government’s vision to digitise, connect and transform the health and care sector, primarily through a centralised repository of patient data. Under the new proposals patients will will be able to access their medical records via NHS Apps, rather than the data being held by GP’s, with the intention that they they would have “greater control” over it’s availability and usage. Patients would be able to manage healthcare appointments and medication.” This new patient data strategy goes into operation in September, however if you wish to opt out you may do so by visiting the NHS website or filling out a form from your local GP surgery.
Currently then good people, whilst we’re still enjoying watching the English football team in the one year late, Euro ’20 tournament, may that continue all the way to the 11th July Final, however in the meantime just because ‘test’ crowd attending at major sporting events this July have been sanctioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you would decide to attend!
Until August SCH Health News Readers, please continue to follow the guidance, continue to stay safe, making sure friends and family are too.
MD, Surrey Circle Health