Press Release 19 June 2019

Employees are a businesses most valuable asset! Unfortunately the workforce is sometimes pushed -past breaking point, a fact confirmed recently as the World Health Organization. They classified burn-out as an occupational phenomenon in its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) last month. Workplace health and well being has never been higher on the agenda, yet there aren’t enough cost effective solutions to make a difference.
With GP access and appointment waiting times at an all time high, the current NHS situation is exacerbating issues in the workplace. There has been an increased number of people needing to take time off work for appointments, or even worse ignoring serious health concerns altogether. Some 40% of people who visited the GP had to take time off work to do so and the anticipated total cost of trips to the GP is 2.5 lost working days per employee per year. Whilst absenteeism is a challenge for most businesses the cost of presenteeism is even greater. Research has found that the ‘sickness presence’ (where an employee attends work but is unwell) may account for up to 50% more working time lost than absenteeism. It is expected that for every £1 that absenteeism costs a company the cost of sickness presence is £2.60.
The observed impact on mental health in this group is two fold that of the normal working group. With a two fold increase in cases of both anxiety and depression. Whilst absenteeism has been on the decline over the last decade, presenteeism is on the increase and can be far more damaging. More than a quarter (26.2%) of days lost through sickness absence in 2017 were attributed to minor illness (such as coughs and colds). This adds up to 34.3 million days per year. While minor illness remained the predominant reason for sickness absence in each age group, there was a difference between ages when other reasons were examined. Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems, such as back and joint pain, was a reason for sickness absence for 20.8% of 50-to 64-year-olds and 18.7% of 35-to 49-year- olds. There has been an increase in the proportion of younger workers aged 25 to 34, who attribute their sickness absence to mental health conditions, rising from 7.2% in 2009 to 9.6% in 2017, an increase of 2.4 percentage points.
Recognising this growing problem, AKEA LIFE and Therapy Direct Healthcare are thrilled to announce their new joint venture. It aims to offer unrivalled levels of healthcare delivery and convenience without breaking employer’s budgets. AKEA LIFE has been providing private GPS to businesses for nearly three years now and the feedback and uptake speaks volumes.  Employees can access telephone/online and face to face visits 7 days a week through the scheme for as little as £100 per employee per year. Where the service has been deployed on over a dozen companies the results have been impressive, reducing time off work to see the GP by over 75% on average.
Therapy Direct Healthcare have been helping businesses with their MSK problems since 2006 and are a flexible and innovative Physiotherapy Company who now operate with a core team of therapists each of whom have a specific area of expertise and operate an extensive network of trusted and continually audited clinics in order to provide nationwide cover to clients of all sizes. Their innovative approach to delivering physiotherapy and ergonomic consultations both remotely and in person fits in well with the demands of the modern worker and fits hand in glove with AKEAs current business model.
Ben Paglia MD AKEA LIFE says “ This partnership is an ideal marriage for the corporate world, nearly a third of all workplace absence is MSK and in our everyday practice approx 30% of all our referrals are MSK as well, to have a partnership with such a strong company with such a great platform is a dream come true for us at AKEA” Ross Tomkins MD Therapy Direct Healthcare echoed Bens thoughts and stated that the partnership “should allow a new level of private occupational healthcare to be offered to businesses of all sizes” Both companies are looking forward to working together with a growing number of large forward thinking businesses who want to make a real difference when it comes to the health and well being of their employees.