RedArc Nurses, the company that provides long-term practical, medical & emotional advice to patients and their families at times of serious illness, bereavement and trauma, has announced that it has established a new mental health department. Although patients will continue to be supported by a single dedicated nurse adviser, the new internal team approach will enable specialist knowledge to be better shared with the aim of further improving patient outcomes.
Reporting into Sue Kinsella, head of nursing services, the new team will be headed up by Alison Simmons, senior mental health nurse adviser and includes five other specialist mental health nurses with specific experience in the fields of dementia, trauma, substance misuse, care of the elderly and general practise.
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc Nurses said: “We certainly could not have predicted the way in which our business has been shaped by the increase in demand for mental health support. We’ve seen an unprecedented influx in the need for it – in part due to awareness of access; the removal of associated stigmas; and pressures faced by the state health system, and so we’re adapting our approach to be more agile and respond to this rise in demand.
“Some of the people who need mental health support are extremely high risk and by working collectively on cases, we’ll be able to provide even more tailored support.”
Insurers can often provide access to mental health support for their policyholders as an added-value service via insurances such as critical illness, income protection and healthcare. However, RedArc suggests that insurers should familiarise themselves with exactly what type of mental health support they are offering. Should someone require specialist mental health support, they would need a clinical assessment and possibly a wide range of therapies, but some policies only offer extremely light-touch support which is not adequate in more serious cases.
Christine Husbands concluded: “It’s a really positive step that increasing numbers of insurers have the mental health of their customers on their radar. However, speed of access and quality of advice are two areas that insurers should really review to ensure that in the case of a policyholder being seriously unwell, there is no delay in treatment.
“The wealth of knowledge and experience within our mental health team is truly exceptional and we’re thrilled to be pooling this resource for the benefit of both insurers and their customers.”