Media - Press Releases

Access to Help@hand app reaches 165,000 employees and service usage increases by over 400% during lockdown period.

30 July 2020

The Covid-19 lockdown has contributed to the boom in the use of digital GP healthcare solutions, as a result these services are in demand. Unum saw this trend emerging before lockdown, which is why they invested, in partnership with Square Health, in their Help@hand app, which launched last year. Demand for these services has soared over the past few months.

Access to Help@hand has now reached 165,000 employees – with partners and children** also able to access in addition to this number - meaning it is reaching even more people at a time where services such as these are needed more than before*. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Help@hand services are proving to be more relevant than ever with downloads of the app increasing by 88% for the period April – June 2020 (versus November 2019 – March 2020). During the same period, 2,227 consultations were booked - a huge 400% increase (versus November 2019 - March 2020).

Help@hand is a unique service within the Group Risk market and offers employees access to 5 valuable services through one easy-to-use app****. Since launching last year, almost 3,000 appointments have been booked via Help@hand – and around 60% were for the remote GP service. Help@hand GPs aim to speak to customers within 2 hours of an appointment being requested through the app, 365 days per year. They can arrange delivery of private prescriptions and medication (for an additional fee) directly to the customer, offer advice on medical concerns and organise referrals to other Help@hand services such as physio and mental health counselling if necessary. In fact, during the height of lockdown, nearly three-quarters of cases referred to Help@hand were resolved without requiring further consultation or referral***, a valuable service as pressure on the NHS continues*.

As part of its continued commitment to investing in digital healthcare services, Unum recently integrated its longest standing partner services - Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provided by LifeWorks **** into the Help@hand app, providing more than 165,000 employees and their families** access to even more health and wellbeing support.

Help@hand demonstrates that value added services can appeal to significant numbers of employees and usage shows it’s providing real value to real people. Whether employees have attended their workplace throughout lockdown, are furloughed, returning to a physical work environment, continuing to work remotely or simply need to speak to a medical professional where it may be otherwise difficult - ensuring staff have easy access to health and wellbeing support can help employers minimise absence, improve productivity and keep employees present and engaged.

Digital healthcare services such as Help@hand play an important role in providing quick access to necessary support*, and Unum sees this trend growing as the UK healthcare landscape continues to evolve.

Commenting on the demand for Help@hand services is Peter O’Donnell, CEO of Unum UK:

"I’m absolutely delighted that Help@hand is going from strength to strength, demand is continuing to grow and that so many people are using the services. 165,000 employees covered is a phenomenal number, and we’re fully expecting this number to keep rising as the weeks go on. Our priority remains to provide quality services that are relevant, easy to access, and offer vital support to employees and their families when needed.

We’re continuing to listen to our customers and are using that feedback to shape our future development plans - aspiring towards a fully integrated and holistic proposition that provides valuable services to employees and supports the workforce needs of employers.

As we assess the impact of Covid-19 for healthcare, we are absolutely committed to continuing to innovate, evolve and enhance Help@hand to ensure we remain agile and responsive to the changing needs of our customers and the market.”


*For non-coronavirus-related medical issues, Help@hand provides a valuable service as demands on the NHS continues. For coronavirus-related issues people should be directed to government advice and not to the remote GP.

**Partners can access all Help@hand services. Children (up to their 18th birthday or 24th birthday if in full-time education) can access the remote GP and second opinion services. Children over 18 can access the EAP’s confidential helpline and online resources.

***Calculation based on the percentage of appointments which required referral onto a subsequent medical service. If an individual went on to visit their local GP or other medical practitioner then we would be unaware of this.

**** Help@hand services include:

  • Employee Assistance Programme tools and services – including a 24/7 confidential helpline
  • Unlimited live video consultations with UK-based remote GPs 24/7 – including prescriptions and medications delivered directly to individuals where needed**
  • Mental health support when it’s needed most
  • Personalised physiotherapy treatment
    Medical second opinions with a consultant