A recent report published by actuarial consultancy OAC, Mutuality: supporting health and wellbeing, has highlighted the positive impact and valuable contribution that mutuals are making to public health finances by actively supporting vital services such as the NHS and welfare state.  

OAC estimated that in 2022 mutuals, like Shepherds Friendly, contributed approximately £1 billion of cost savings to public health services, which have been under increasing monetary and capacity pressure in recent years. 

Here at Shepherds Friendly, we have a long history of protecting and supporting our members from the impact of being unable to work due to sickness or injury. We help to alleviate some of the pressures that are being faced by the public sector through our Enhanced Benefits package. 

Those who take out our Income Protection plan gain access to a variety of services that help them in their recovery and support them in their journey back to work.  

Virtual GP Service 

The Virtual GP service, which is provided through our partnership with Nuffield Health and powered by Doctor Care Anywhere, gives our members access to a doctor or Advanced Nurse Practitioner, 24/7 wherever they are.  

By having easy access to care and specialist referrals, health issues can be noticed earlier. This is evidenced by OAC findings which estimate a saving of £90 million in costs for the NHS due to the reduced need for ongoing and prolonged follow-up treatments and investigations.    

Rehabilitation and recuperation services  

Through Nuffield Health, our Income Protection members have free access at the point of claim to physiotherapy and mental wellbeing services, to manage physical and emotional recovery.  This is especially important as musculoskeletal issues account for 28.29% of our claims, the highest out of all conditions.    

Emotional wellbeing support 

On top of this, members also have access to the Nuffield Health Emotional Wellbeing Platform which is accredited by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It is designed to help maintain and improve emotional wellbeing, by addressing underlying issues that can have a negative impact on mental health. 65% of users who access this platform have seen a significant improvement.  

Ann-Marie O’Dea, Chief Executive Officer at Shepherds Friendly, added:  

“As a mutual, ensuring our members are actively supported throughout their journey with us is important, especially when the time comes to make a claim.  We are proud to be complementing the NHS and welfare state services through our Enhanced Benefits package in partnership with Nuffield Health. These benefits aid our members’ physical and emotional recovery and help them return to work sooner.” 

To find out more about our Income Protection and learn how you can access your Enhanced Benefits, click here.