At as.one, members of the public can get advice direct from leading UK consultants, enabling them to see the right healthcare specialists quickly and without the need for waiting lists or GP referrals.
Patients who sign up to the new healthcare service at www.betterasone.com, instantly gain access to over 1,200 peer-recommended specialist consultants, across 34 sub specialisms. By eliminating the need for GP referrals or long waiting lists, as.one aims to give patients valuable peace of mind, as soon as possible.
“I think this is great... what do YOU do if you don’t feel well and you don’t want to see your GP? We (as Consultants) all know who to go to, but the public don’t - as.one is giving everyone this opportunity,” said Professor Ged Byrne, Founder Member and Chairman of Alliance Surgical Medical Directorate.
Anyone who has ever been forced to endure a long wait to see a healthcare professional will understand the worry and apprehension it can bring. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have even reported that uncertainty about a diagnosis can cause more anxiety than actually knowing you have a serious illness. In the study of 214 women, patients awaiting routine breast biopsy reported significantly higher levels anxiety scores than those waiting to undergo chemoembolisation – a procedure used to treat liver cancer.
As.one aims to help put concerned patients at ease by giving them the answers they need, fast. If a member has a health issue that requires the attention of a specialist, they can call the team who will pass on the information to a respected consultant. The consultant will then recommend the best specialist and the patient is booked in for a face-to-face appointment, cutting out the GP referral stage completely. If the specialist recommends treatment or further investigation, patients are guided impartially through all the available options, and are advised on the best doctors and hospitals for their situation.
Reassuringly, all as.one specialists are recommended by at least two other consultants as people they would trust to look after their own family and their work undergoes regular clinical audits.
When asked about the concept, Bruce Braithwaite, Founder Member and Alliance Surgical Operations Director said, “If you or your family need to see a specialist - you ask a colleague. As doctors, we may not see this, but there is a fantastic service here. Testing has proven that the public want a service like this ... ... so it was up to US to provide it.”
Aside from the anxiety associated with the wait to see a healthcare professional, a delay in diagnosis can have serious long term health consequences. In 2010, a Stakeholder’s Consultation involving 50 participants (including patients, carers, healthcare professionals and commissioners) was set up to explore issues around delayed diagnosis of cancer, and to provide the NHS with potential solutions. The report made a number of key recommendations to avoid delayed diagnoses, one of which was to ‘review and develop methods for empowering patients on the diagnostic pathway’. The as.one service aims to meet this recommendation by giving patients greater control over their own healthcare.
Professor Byrne discussed the benefits of as.one further, stating, "Specialists like me are happiest when we're making patients feel better. We run as.one together for the benefit of our patients. If patients meet the right consultant directly and early - everyone will feel better."
As.one stresses to its members that it is NOT an insurance company or a cash plan. Its UK specialists are under no financial or managerial constraints and therefore work solely with the best interests of the patient in mind; if you need treatment, you’ll get it sooner, if you don’t need treatment, they’ll tell you. Where treatment is required, the as.one consultants will usually recommend the NHS, unless patients are not eligible or if they specifically request to be seen privately.
As.one membership is open to all regardless of age, health or medical history from just £25 a month or £285 for the year. The first face-to-face consultation in every year is covered by membership and you can get ‘healthcare credits’ to use if you do not need to see a specialist, which can be used for consultations or paid-for treatments at any time in the future.
Put simply, as.one aims to get patients in front of the consultant best qualified to deal with their symptoms, as fast as possible. Find out more and sign up today at www.betterasone.com.