Most adults will experience a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition at some point in their life, whether it’s an injury, a bad back or a chronic condition such as arthritis. As 30.8m working days are lost in the UK due to MSK problems, accounting for 22.4% of all sickness absence, the impact of MSK conditions mustn’t be underestimated. Coupled with this is the proven link between MSK and mental health conditions, and as stated by Professor Woolf, Chair of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance: “it is this combination of conditions which most often leads to loss of days at work.”
With depression four times as likely in people who experience persistent pain, it is crucial that employers invest in MSK and mental health support in the workplace, treating both conditions in a coordinated way to enable a healthy and productive workforce.
Ensuring your physical and mental health services complement each other is essential in improving absenteeism and as a result, your bottom line. At Health Shield, our Health Cash Plans offer integrated care pathways for employees struggling with physical and mental health. For example, if an employee on our Tailored Health Cash Plan was suffering from a musculoskeletal condition and depression or anxiety as a result, they could access our On-Demand Physio service, claim money back on physio treatments, download our NHS-approved* mental health app – Thrive, or call our 24/7 Counselling and Support Helpline.
If further support was required, the employee could also be referred to face-to-face physio or access our face-to-face counselling or GP Anytime services. This care pathway is not only designed to help prevent and treat existing issues before they progress to absenteeism, it can also encourage employees on sickness leave to return to work faster as their employers are giving them access to the right care.
How could this impact your bottom line?
By putting prevention and early intervention at the heart of your employee wellbeing strategy, you can expect to see a positive impact to your bottom line in the form of:
- Reduced sickness days due to improved and effectively treated MSK and mental health conditions.
- Reduced presenteeism (where employees are in work but not fully performing their role) – 90% of people said that struggling with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or mild depression, stops them from thriving at work and performing to the best of their ability.
- A more loyal, engaged and productive workforce – 57% of people said that if their employer proactively supported their mental wellbeing, it would help them to feel more loyal, be more productive and take less time off.
How much could your business save?
According to our online cost calculator, a business of 200 employees could save up to £11,273.40 per year by investing in MSK support, and up to £94,649.40 by investing in MSK and mental health support together***. No matter the size of your organisation, Health Shield works alongside you to implement effective treatment pathways. Why not use our online cost calculator to see how much your business could save?
Download our free eBook here to find out more about the impact of MSK and mental health on your business.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, 2017.
The State of Musculoskeletal Health 2018, Arthritis Research UK 5.
Health Shield Insights, 2018.