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City workers need more flexible health care provision

Targeted services near work could help improve people's health and wellbeing in the short and longer term

New research by Professor Leslie Mayhew of Cass Business School has found City workers would benefit from a more flexible approach to healthcare services - including the option to register with a GP close to work.

The report commissioned by the City of London Corporation and Public Health Action Support Team CIC (PHAST) who Professor Mayhew is a member of, found that City workers need more flexible health provision to meet their needs.

City workers across a wide range of sectors and key stakeholders (current NHS and private health providers, pharmacies and employers) were surveyed.

Many respondents felt that they would benefit from being able to register with a GP near their work place. A third of those surveyed said they would choose to register near work rather than home, and 82 percent would choose dual registration if this were made possible. Opening hours were also a concern, with a number of respondents preferring to access services in the early mornings, evenings and during lunchtimes.

Professor Mayhew said: "The City of London has a working day population that is bigger than most London boroughs and yet there is almost no NHS presence. Although the working population is relatively young, there are sizeable health problems among people that report stress at work and who smoke. The survey found about 12,000 workers in this category about 35 percent of whom report health problems."

The report also signals that services developed for in the City area should: be well signposted, be geographically flexible, located close to major transport hubs, have opening hours that include early mornings, lunchtimes and evenings and have short waiting times or robust appointment systems.

Although gaps in NHS provision are partly addressed by private health care, many workers do not receive private medical cover through their employers and cannot afford it. Those who are covered by private health care plans expressed concerns about the costs, and noted that GP services are often excluded by healthcare policies.

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, which looks after the Square Mile business district, said: "Steps taken to improve City workers' access to health care will have positive effects not only upon the lives of workers, but equally upon business productivity."

To read the full report, click here:

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