Cancer – Early intervention and why it works

Cancer is one of those words that causes nearly everyone to look up from what they are doing and listen.  Its such an emotive word especially as we think it’s always going to be in conjunction with bad news. Let’s put the ‘dread’ aside for a moment, look at what cancer is and, more importantly what can and should be done to support employees and their colleagues.
Cancer is actually a broad term for a class of diseases characterised by abnormal cells that grow and invade healthy cells in the body. There are over 100 different types of cancer and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected. Cancerous tumours can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems and they can release hormones that alter body function and of course can affect both genders.
All these different cancers have different prognoses, some respond to surgical intervention, some will require intensive drug therapy, some will be aggressive and some will be very complex.  Engaging with the employee at the earliest possible stage following diagnosis will help everyone concerned, the employee and the employer, to understand and manage their cancer most effectively and supportively.
There are three reasons why Early Intervention from HCB Group works with cancer patients:
  1. The clinical team can ask those questions that HR don’t have the knowledge or the training to ask.  They are able to interpret medical information, translate it into everyday language and make it meaningful for both employee and employer.
  2. Our nurses will engage with the employee to understand the psychological impact of the diagnosis, the motivation of the employee to continue working and to help the employee to access support from charitable organisations such as Backup, Macmillan Nurses etc.  Helping the employee maintain a positive mindset at the outset is crucial. The Nurse Case Manager will also assist the employee to identify what Government support they are entitled to.
  3. The reports written for HR set out all of the relevant information in clear understandable terms.  The report will identify any reasonable physical adjustments that could be made and change to working hours that might become necessary. They will explain how the drug or therapy regimes may impact on the employee’s ability to continue in their current role, and provide an overview of how they ‘manage’ the employee.  Our nurses are also trained to identify when and how to engage with the various health programmes that may be available, medical insurance, cash plans etc. and to explain what Government support could be available to the employer as well as the employee.
We don’t believe that cancer should be treated any differently to other illness and diseases.  The majority of cancers are treatable and many have a very positive outcome.  As I said at the beginning of my article as ‘cancer’ can be a highly emotive word, early intervention from our clinical team will help the employee and employer to put a traumatic diagnosis into perspective, which in itself is has to have a significant therapeutic value.
Written by:

Karen Gamble – Head of Client Relations HCB Group

Karen has extensive experience in Employee Risk Management Schemes, including Income Protection, Medical Insurance and Life Assurance gained from her career with both Healthcare & Risk Providers and Intermediaries.  As Head of Client Relations at HCB  her goal is to use her knowledge and experience to develop and enhance the integration of health insurance benefits and income protection benefits with proper rehabilitation and case management.

Karen has been the recipient of variety of Employee Benefit awards including, Best Use of a Cash Plan, Communication and Design of a Health Trust, Integration of Employee Risk Benefits and she was nominated as one of the Health Insurance Industry’s Top 50 movers and shakers.

About Health Claims Bureau

What we do is offer sound Employee Case Management. Nurse lead help, support and advice to HR, Line Manager and if course the employee themselves. Our nurses sort out what the barriers are to returning to work ; sickness, injury or social issues. They put a plan together using all sorts of clever psychological and motivational tools and then they look at the practicalities of making that plan work. And of course we do all if this whilst linking all of the employee benefits available. This makes our service so cost effective, every £1 spent saves £4. It’s easy, useful and loved and valued by our clients. To help someone back into their workplace, or to exit it with dignity, is really rewarding.  Health Claims Bureau delivers ethically tailored health management services to meet everyone’s needs

Karen Gamble,
Head of Client Relations
Health Claims Bureau Group
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