Accessing out of hours medical information can be difficult at the best of times, which is why according to a recent study commissioned by Health-on-Line, over 50% of us have ended up resorting to self-diagnosing via Google*. However, although sometimes it can be useful for getting advice on minor problems, it can be hard to know which online information to completely trust.
We spoke to Lorna, a customer at Health-on-Line, to find out her experience of using Health-at-Hand, our 24 hour dedicated medical helpline.
“Recently, one evening, I found myself looking for reassurance over a fairly minor re-occurring problem. The local pharmacy, chemists and Doctors surgery all were closed until the morning. Impatiently, I debated contacting the NHS on the 111 helpline number – but hesitated as this was not an emergency.
So, remembering my health insurance policy, I decided to dial the number for Health-at-Hand. Feeling slightly sceptical and assuming I would be speaking to someone with first aid training in a call centre, I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to speak to a Pharmacist and a Nurse who advised me of treatments available and also what I could do at home before I ran to the chemist in the morning.
I was astounded by the helpfulness of the staff I spoke to and immediately felt the value of my PMI. The Health-at-Hand number is now stored in my phone for future reference, as having access to trained professionals 24-7 is in my eyes, an invaluable tool”.
Health-at-Hand provides access to medical professionals such as nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists who are all experts in their field. They don’t diagnose or prescribe medication but they are a support line, providing the latest information about medicines or illnesses, as well as providing reassurance and guidance. The line is open 24 hours a day, every day, so there’s always someone you can talk to.
If you currently have a Health-on-Line policy and would like to contact Health-at-Hand, the number to dial is 0800 003 004. Please have your membership number to hand when you call.
*Taken from survey conducted by YouGov, 2014