SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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New Healthcare Membership Service Helps Reduce Waiting Time for NHS Patients

LONDON, February 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

New healthcare membership service as.one gives patients direct access to top specialist consultants regardless of age, health or medical history, and without a GP referral. Diagnosis and treatment is offered irrespective of status as an NHS or private patient.

As.one provides a new alternative in the healthcare marketplace, giving its members quick, easy and direct access to top clinicians for private consultations and treatment - without the need to see a GP first. The network includes over 1200 top consultants covering 34 specialisms from orthopaedics to diabetes and haematology.

If a member of as.one feels the need to see a specialist or has symptoms their GP is unable to treat, they simply call for a telephone assessment with a medical professional who will then put them in contact with the best specialist to address their individual needs. All enrolled consultants are recommended by at least two other as.one consultants as people they would trust to look after them or their family and they must undergo regular clinical audits if they are to retain their place within as.one. Collectively, these specialists see approximately 2 million NHS patients every year.

As.one stresses that it is not an insurance company or a cash plan, describing their members as 'patients first, not policy holders'. As a result, consultants are not restricted by hospital networks.

Bruce Braithwaite, Founder Member of As.one described the service, saying, "You get access to my knowledge and the knowledge of over a thousand doctors as to where the right place is for you to seek treatment."

Despite the NHS being under a great deal of public scrutiny, the 2011 Care Quality Commission outpatient survey revealed that 95% of people using outpatient services reported their care as being good, very good or excellent.[1] Consultants therefore endeavour to recommend NHS treatment where possible, unless a patient is ineligible or specifically requests to be seen privately. In these situations, as.one will advise on the best affordable self-pay treatment as an alternative choice.

According to statistics recorded in February 2013, patients accessing NHS treatment via non-admitted pathways wait a median 3.8 weeks from GP referral to treatment.[1] As.one aims to reduce this time even further by skipping the GP referral stage and putting members in front of the specialists they need, straight away.

Mr Braithwaite explained why the service is getting so much interest, "Testing has proven that the public want a service like this ... ... so it was up to US to provide it."

Ged Byrne, as.one Founder Member also spoke about the inclusive nature of the network, "I think this is great... what do YOU do if you don't feel well and you don't want to see your GP? We (as Consultants) all know who to go to, but the public don't - as.one is giving everyone this opportunity."

Membership is open to all from just £25 a month or £285 for the year. The first face-to-face consultation in every year is covered and you can gain 'healthcare credits' to use for consultations or paid-for treatments at any time in the future. Healthcare credits are awarded to as.one members who don't use their member consultations during a year and can be offset against private treatments or consultations. Find out more and sign up today at http://www.betterasone.co.uk.

References

  1. NHS Confederation. Key statistics on the NHS. Available from: http://www.nhsconfed.org/priorities/political-engagement/Pages/NHS-statistics.aspx

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