17.1 million working days were lost in the UK in 2022/23 due to poor mental health, according to a recent report by The Health and Safety Executive, with the average employee taking 19.6 days of sick leave for stress, depression or anxiety.

As well as impacting millions of employees, failing mental health has a huge knock-on effect on businesses as it leads to lost productivity. It costs the economy £28bn every year, an average of £1300 cost per employee. 

In this blog, you’ll learn how Prestige Private Health can support your employees in managing their mental well-being, leading to a healthier, happier workforce. 

NHS wait times vs private workplace healthcare

Have you ever tried to get mental health help through the NHS? Be prepared for a long wait. The Royal College of Psychiatrists discovered that 23% of people with mental health issues had to wait more than 12 weeks for talking therapies or counselling. 43% said the long wait made their condition worse.

With private workplace healthcare, employees can bypass long wait times and see an onsite GP when needed. Rather than having their anxiety, stress, or depression intensify, they can address their issues immediately – or when they are ready. 

Private workplace healthcare gives employees the option to talk

Some employees hide their mental struggles at work for fear of coming across as weak or vulnerable. They battle on even when they are suffering from severe depression, deliberating anxiety or heading towards stress-related burn-out. 

HR teams offer fantastic support to staff, but this route doesn’t suit everyone, especially those who like to keep their personal lives separate. Private workplace healthcare allows people to get confidential support on their terms. Our same-day video and face-to-face appointments with our GPs can be at work or home – whatever works for the individual.

At Prestige Private Health, we always suggest patients confide in their manager or a trusted member of HR if they are struggling at work. We always recommend employers promote an open-door policy where people feel comforable to discuss any issues.

Fast referrals to mental health specialists

Our GPs can refer people to mental health professionals specialists such as private psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists. Our referral service means staff don’t have to visit their NHS GP – it’s all part of their package. And our network of consultants and specialists are the very best in their fields.man in therapy at work

Time off work is sometimes the best option for employees who are really struggling. A break often gives them clarity, allowing them to rest and recuperate. Because they can access support in their recovery period they are likely to return to work sooner rather than later.

An employee assistance programme tailored to individuals

Unlike mainstream ‘tick-box’ workplace private health providers, we focus on the individual. Our GPs have vast knowledge of mental health – anything from the more common issues of anxiety and depression, through to eating disorders, addiction issues and OCD. 

Rather than signposting patients to generalist websites, we give patients tailored information to help. This could be signposting them to local support groups or online communities, or self-help courses to work through in their own time.

Occupational health assessments at work

Dr Nash, one of our founders, is an expert in occupational health and a Faculty of Occupational Medicine member. He can visit your workplace and meet individuals to assess potential health risks that could inhibit job performance.

Our assessments develop practical strategies to reduce or manage risks at work. For example, if someone often feels overwhelmed and stressed, we may suggest managers need to give plenty of notice to complete tasks and avoid last-minute requests.

Other examples include moving an employee to a quieter part of the office, more frequent breaks or increased flexible working. In some cases, small tweaks to someone’s work life such as the option to socialise with colleagues at a lunch break can make the world of difference. 

As we’re specialists in occupational health, you don’t have the hassle of sourcing an external assessor – it’s all part of our service. 

Creating an open culture at work

It’s your duty as an employer to create a work culture that encourages staff to be open about their mental health. Mental health training for all employees is a fantastic way to raise awareness of common mental health conditions and gives staff valuable knowledge of often misunderstood conditions.

We always suggest employers appoint trained mental health first aiders at work to give staff an extra layer of assurance. Mental health first aiders are purely voluntary positions and they help employees who experience emotional distress, acting as an inital point of contact or someone to talk to.

At Prestige Private Health, we can recommend trusted training providers in your area. 

Private healthcare helps you retain and attract employees

Showing staff you care by offering extra incentives such as flexible working, onsite fitness classes and private healthcare helps you retain and attract top talent. In fact, it’s the number one perk that people look for when applying for jobs, according to research by Zest.

Profit and turnover is undoubtedly a business objective but employers have a moral responsibility to look after the wellbeing of their staff – everyone wants to work for a genuine and caring employer. 

Private healthcare – an 800% return on investment!

Onsite GP services and employee assistance programmes aren’t just a fantastic benefit for your work force – they also reduce your staff sickness costs.

According to Public Health Matters, for every £1 spent on employee assistance, it generates up to £9 for employers – equating to a huge 800% return on investment. 

Let’s talk about improving healthcare provision in the workplace

Are you a head of HR, managing director or chief executive who wants to learn more about private workplace healthcare?

Want to discover more about Prestige Private Health and our range of onsite GP services and packages for employers? 

Contact us on 0330 133 5944 or email info@prestigeprivatehealth.co.uk.