Unum UK witnessed increased demand for its remote GPs service during the winter as NHS services continued to be stretched, particularly out-of-hours.
As of February 2023, the provider said more than a quarter (28%) of appointments were booked outside of typical 8am–8pm hours on Monday to Friday.
And it added the Strep A outbreak earlier in the winter had a significant impact on demand, with one in five consultations being for children aged 0-15 in December, up by 74% from November.
The number of prescriptions issued also more than doubled between November and December 2022.
Data from the provider found 90% of users were offered a GP consultation within three hours of their request, or within two hours of their preferred time if later, with 92% confirming the GP dealt with their concern on the day.
Latest NHS figures show just 45% of GP appointments in England took place on the same day they were booked.
Unum has seen more than 130,000 downloads of the Help@hand app, which includes the virtual GP service, since launch in October 2019.
More than a quarter (27%) of users have opted to have notes from their appointment shared via NHS’ secure system with their GP since this service was introduced in April 2022.
Glenn Thompson, chief distribution officer at Unum UK, (pictured) said he was proud of the support the insurer provided to employees and their families.
“We help relieve some of the NHS strain by giving people fast, easy access to health and wellbeing support,” he added.