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  • Writer's pictureTeam Lime

The NHS Backlog: A Ticking Time Bomb for Businesses and Employee Wellbeing

The NHS faces unprecedented challenges. Hospital waiting lists are hovering around record highs (7.58 million in January 2024, just shy of the record-breaking 7.76 million in September 2023) [1], cancer treatment targets are consistently missed and more than a quarter of patients are waiting longer than six weeks for diagnostic scans. [2] A crucial question naturally arises: what happens when your most valuable asset – your workforce – gets caught in this healthcare logjam?


A Silent Drain on Productivity and Profit


Lime Health - Whole of Workforce Healthcare - Employee Benefits

When employees are waiting weeks or months for critical healthcare, it’s not surprising that absenteeism in the UK has risen to an all-time-high, with 185.6 million working days lost according to the latest government data in 2022. [3] The truth is, it’s not just employees’ health and wellbeing that suffers, it’s your bottom line; in fact, absenteeism cost British businesses almost £140 billion over the last 12 months. [4]


The Financial Cost of Waiting Goes Beyond Absenteeism

The impact of NHS delays extends far beyond lost workdays. Untreated health issues are not only likely to worsen over time, requiring potentially more complex and expensive interventions later, but also, understandably, lead to a decline in employee morale and motivation. This can result in increased errors, decreased focus, and de-engagement.


Employer-Paid Healthcare: A Logical Response, Not a Luxury

Lime Health - Whole of Workforce Healthcare - Employee Benefits

In this environment, healthcare services funded by employers become, not a perk, but a logical response to NHS bottlenecks.  Imagine the strategic advantage of offering your employees quick access to specialists, diagnostics, and support. It translates to a healthier, happier workforce, leading to:

  • Reduced Absenteeism: Faster diagnosis and treatment support mean employees recover quicker and return to work sooner.

  • Increased Productivity: A healthy workforce is a productive workforce, leading to a direct positive impact on your bottom line.

  • Improved Morale and Engagement: When employees feel their wellbeing is valued, they're more likely to be engaged and invested in the company's success.


Beyond Logic: Doing The Right Thing

There's also a moral obligation to consider.  When NHS waiting lists leave employees in a state of limbo, impacting their health and quality of life, employers have an opportunity to step up. Offering healthcare benefits demonstrates a genuine commitment to employee health and wellbeing, fostering loyalty and a sense of trust.


Affordability Perception vs. Reality: Time to Rethink

Some businesses might shy away from private healthcare due to high costs, or reserve it for only a proportion of their more senior employees. However, the market is evolving. Lime Health has created a new category of employee healthcare benefits all priced under £10 per employee per month, based on modular, customisable services which are designed to meet the specific needs of employees, while keeping costs sustainably low for employers with a negligible tax impact.


Introducing Lime Health: The Home of Whole of Workforce Healthcare

Lime Health - Whole of Workforce Healthcare - Employee Benefits

Lime Health is at the forefront of a revolution in employee healthcare benefits. We understand that the NHS plays a vital role, but we also recognise the gaps in the system - and the impact that these are having on employees and businesses. That's why we specialise in whole of workforce healthcare, designed to address NHS bottlenecks and allow employers to meet the specific needs of their workforce.


Benefits Advisors: Your Trusted Guide

Benefits advisors play a crucial role in helping businesses to navigate this changing landscape. Lime Health’s easy-to-use digital platform offers in-depth data on the value and usage of each service, making it easy to demonstrate ROI and ensure businesses have the best possible benefit plans in place for their workforce. Working closely with benefits advisors, Lime Health provides the tools and resources needed to strike the perfect balance between cost and quality, ensuring budgets are respected while having a tangible impact on employee health across the whole workforce.


Lime Health - Whole of Workforce Healthcare - Employee Benefits

Don't Let the NHS Backlog Become Your Achilles Heel

The NHS delays are a ticking time bomb for businesses. With Lime Health you can offer real, employee healthcare benefits for the whole workforce that boost productivity, increase engagement, and create a win-win situation for employers and employees alike.



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