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We have created an information hub to support our Orange Genie Accountancy clients, our Umbrella Employees and agencies where the the Covid-19 rules and legislation are explained for recruiters, contractors and the self-employed. Click here to find out more>>

Ensuring Our Umbrella Company Employees Have Access to Healthcare

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The coronavirus crisis has raised concerns that some patients are not getting the care they need from their GP. Independent charity, The Health Foundation, have suggested a solution, similar to a service our umbrella company employees already benefit from, and have commissioned further research to inform decisions about NHS services.

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The reasons for concern

Between March and June 2020, while patients aged 75 and over had more GP appointments, possibly reflecting their worries about Covid-19, younger patients had fewer appointments. This suggests that younger patients were reluctant to visit their GP, and while this is understandable in the circumstances it raises concerns that some may not have received the care they needed.

The Health Foundation have also raised concerns that in England 8% of GPs are deemed to be at high risk from Covid-19, and if they stop seeing patients over 700,000 people could be left without access to GP appointments.

The possible solution

Analysing the use of askmyGP, which is a remote consultation provider used by just 51 of England’s 6993 GP practices, the Health Foundation found that those practices were able to undertake more care remotely, without significantly impacting the number of consultations delivered.

Analysis also revealed that consultations with younger patients fell just 1% in practices using the remote service, compared to an average 33% drop nationally at the peak of the pandemic.

While they do state that more research is required into the impact of remote consultations, they conclude that continued investment in digital services would make primary care more resilient to future waves of the virus.

What if your GP isn’t using a remote service?

If you’re not lucky enough to be registered with one of those 51 GP practices, the pressures that kept a third of younger patients from visiting their GP are probably worrying you too.

According to the NHS website, most GPs are offering an online service which consists of an online form which will be followed up with a phone or video call “if necessary”. We don’t know exactly how many is meant by “most”, but it certainly appears that at least some patients will be unable to access remote help. This would leave them trying to weigh the risk of contracting Covid-19 with the risks of leaving their illness untreated, and that’s obviously not a decision that most patients are qualified to make.  

Your other option is to use a private GP service or app, which will come at a cost. Prices vary, but you’re likely to pay between £20 and £50 for a 15 minute appointment.

If you’re one of Orange Genie’s umbrella company employees

If you’re an employee of Orange Genie, you have access to Orange Genie Edge, which includes several benefits and services designed to help you care for yourself and your family. One of those services is Personal Doctor, which effectively gives you free access to private GP appointments at any time of the day or night.

  • The service can be used free of charge for all Orange Genie Employees and members of their household
  • There are no usage limits, and the service is 100% confidential
  • Telephone appointments are available 24/7
  • Video appointments are available Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 6:30pm
  • The service is available from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to a phone or internet connection
  • If the doctor believes prescription medicine is necessary, it can be delivered anywhere in the UK

The result is that Orange Genie employees don’t need to wait to access healthcare, or try to decide if their illness is serious enough to risk a trip to their GP.

How Personal Doctor has been used during the Covid-19 crisis

As you can see from the graph below, we saw a huge increase in the usage of personal doctor. In fact, more than one in five of our employees used Personal Doctor during the height of the pandemic, which means the service has made a significant contribution to the health and the safety of our employees and their families.

Umbrella Company

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email

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