Personal nurse adviser specialist RedArc is partnering with Healix Health Services to provide a new second opinion service offering both face-to-face and telephone support.
The service combines a face-to-face medical opinion from a consultant specialist with guidance and support by telephone from a dedicated nurse adviser before and after the second opinion has been sought.
It covers all major health areas, including mental health, and is also available to children.
The service has been designed for employers and insurers. It will be available to providers who wish to add value to their group risk or health insurance products. Employers can purchase the service on a standalone basis to complement existing employee benefits.
A study by University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the British Journal of Cancer found that that one in five bowel cancer patients had symptoms that were missed and 16 per cent of emergency bowel cancer patients had seen their GP three times or more with relevant symptoms. A third of female heart attack patients’ initial diagnosis differed from their final diagnosis, according to a study by Leeds University of nearly 600,000 heart attack patients admitted to the NHS between 2004 and 2013. RedArc also points to widespread misdiagnosis of thyroid cancer, Lyme disease and ovarian cancer as other key areas where the new service could benefit employees.
RedArc managing director Christine Husbands says: “A serious illness diagnosis is inevitably a worrying time and, in fact, any illness can lead to a range of concerns and questions. A second medical opinion may lead to a different diagnosis, an alternative course of treatment or confirmation that everything is on track. Whatever the outcome, it puts the patient in control, and that is of great value. Access to a personal nurse adviser who has the expertise and the time to discuss the options gives the patient confidence that they are taking the right course of action for them.”
Healix Health Services sales director Richard Saunders says: “Increasing numbers of people have concerns over accurate diagnoses or recommended treatment and look for a second opinion – for confirmation and reassurance and to better understand their options. However, this can be difficult to arrange for many reasons – depending on how obliging the specific NHS Trust or healthcare provider is; how emotional and vulnerable the individual is feeling; and whether their medical condition allows them to deal with the bureaucracy. Being able to simply make a phone call and knowing that the second opinion can be arranged within the UK is a huge weight off the patient’s shoulders.”