Private insurers may offer solution for long NHS mental health wait times

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* Insurance And Savings Products

* Health

* Bristol - Bristol - England

BRISTOL, U.K. - Jan. 3, 2019 - PRLog -- National Friendly, the mutual health insurer, is reporting a significant increase in its stress related mental health claims, with the number rising from just under a third of such claims in 2017 to nearly a half of all mental health claims in 2018. The insurer believes this may be part of a wider national trend around increasing visibility of mental health issues. A feature of the insurer's Out-patient plan is that customers do not have to go via a GP to access treatment, something which has helped to speed the time between a new claim being opened and first treatment, which is just 23 days on average.

According to a recent survey by Comres, a quarter of NHS mental health patients waited more than three months to see a mental health specialist. The survey looked at the experience of 500 patients who were drawn from across the UK. In some cases, the wait times ran into years before specialist care was accessed.

Head of Sales and Marketing, Wayne Carter, comments, "National Friendly is successfully using its 150 years of experience to adapt and develop private health insurance polices to meet the needs of the modern world, which means offering cover for mental health as well as physical ailments. According to the NHS's own figures, one in four adults and one in ten children experience mental illness of some kind, so for insurers, this is a very real issue. Our experience tells us that as with many other illnesses, it is the speed with which someone can be seen which is so important in helping to alleviate their suffering, so a 23 day average wait time is very attractive."

Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, National Friendly was founded to provide sickness benefits for its members and today offers a range of innovative insurance and savings products.

Details of National Friendly and its insurance policies are available on its website –

Notes to editor/data sources

For further information on National Friendly, please contact:

Guy Stephenson/Erica Evans

Nacelle Limited

Tel:  +44 (0)20 8333 9125
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