Working in the healthcare industry comes with high levels of stress. The media regularly reports on overstretched GP surgeries, busy A&E departments and unsustainable long shifts. However, the focus is often on outcomes for patients or physical exhaustion of medical staff, and not mental health.
According to the mental health charity Mind, one in four people in the UK report a mental health issue each year.
In healthcare, the number may be higher, with two thirds of young hospital doctors saying pressures of working for the NHS affects their physical and mental health.
The issue is more widespread than just hospital staff, with many GPs also dealing with their mental wellbeing, However, GPs are unlikely to admit their own mental health concerns and seek help as this means they lose anonymity.
Obviously one of their primary concerns is the welfare of their patients, but the perceived stigma attached to mental health is also a concern for doctors who want to be able to continue in their career. The NHS GP Health Service set up in 2017, seeks to provide confidential support for GPs with health concerns such as stress, anxiety and depression.
With the hope and expectation that doctors and other health professionals will begin to have access to services that allow them to better manage their mental wellbeing, it presents different challenges for practices. In particular, covering the costs for if and when a locum or key person support is needed.
Managing the cost of staff sickness
One of the biggest reasons for requiring locum support is to cover sick leave due to mental health, including burnout from chronic stress and exhaustion.
With the high costs associated with an employee on sick leave, including costs for temporary locum support, is your practice prepared for this scenario?
The cost of a locum to cover sick leave for a GP could be around £2,500 per week.
Even for NHS practices who are eligible for the NHS reimbursement scheme, the additional cost would be more than £700 per week for the first six months of leave.
In these cases, top up Locum or Key Person insurance is a vital part of your practice’s back up plan. This cover would pay the difference between the scheme and the actual costs, saving your practice thousands of pounds over a number of months.
For private practices who would be liable for the full cost of a locum or other key person cover, insurance is even more crucial for managing potential losses.
Choosing a full policy takes care of the costs that would typically be covered by the NHS scheme, as well as additional costs.
Choosing insurance that works for you
You never know when you might need to find temporary cover at short notice so it’s important to take out cover now before you need it.
Your practice needs to be giving your full support to a your team member and preparing for their return rather than worrying about overheads and balancing books.
Speak to one of the specialists at All Med Pro today to discuss what type of insurance policy your practice needs.