Aviva wins prestigious award for its pioneering back-up service

Article date: 30 June 2009

Aviva is delighted to announce that, in conjunction with HCML, it has won the Employer Rehabilitation Initiative of the Year category at the 2009 Rehabilitation First Awards. The highly coveted accolades officially recognise the excellence of those who lead the development of rehabilitation within the UK. The Employer Initiative of the Year category rewards solutions that offer an innovative approach to ensuring individuals receive prompt and expert care, reinforced by tangible results.  

Developed with the UK’s leading professional rehabilitation provider HCML, Back-Up is an expert-led support and rehabilitation service that utilises evidence based medical guidelines for managing back and neck pain.

Rather than having to wait to see their GP, members of Aviva’s staff medical insurance scheme, call the Back-Up service to speak to a dedicated HCML case manager who conducts an in-depth assessment and offers practical and clinical advice and support. A personalised rehabilitation plan is then tailored to the employee’s individual needs. With the employee’s consent, the case manager can also work with their line manager to advise how the employee can be helped safely and effectively at work.

The Back-Up service has significantly improved the speed of recovery and return to work rate for Aviva’s employees. In addition, the number of physiotherapy sessions employees require has been greatly reduced, and far fewer employees have needed to be referred to a Specialist. This has in turn helped reduce the cost and incidence of claims on the Aviva staff medical insurance scheme. 

Back-Up has also delivered significant improvements for Aviva’s corporate medical insurance customers.

Key results include:

  • 50% of employees said the service prevented them going absent or restricting their duties
  • Of the 25% who were absent prior to using the service, 100% successfully returned to work through Back-Up
  • Physiotherapy sessions have been reduced by 37.5%
  • At least a 15% saving on treatment costs
  • 99% of customers found HCML intervention excellent or very good.
  • 95% who had physiotherapy rated it excellent or very good.

Mark Sharpe, clinical development manager at Aviva's UK Health business, said: “Musculoskeletal injury is one of the biggest causes of sickness absence in the UK and one which contributes to Aviva’s own sickness absence figures. We developed our Back-Up service to provide our staff with access to the best possible rehabilitation care and support whilst helping us tackle our absence costs.  

"We are extremely proud of our Back-Up initiative which has already delivered numerous benefits for our staff, our bottom line and our customers. The personalised service has proven to help speed up individuals’ recovery, whilst helping control sickness absence and medical insurance claims costs. The feedback we've received from employees who have used the service has been absolutely fantastic and we’re delighted to have beaten off stiff competition to win this award.”

Helen Merfield, HCML’s CEO, added: “We are enormously proud of the service that the partnership between HCML and Aviva has created. Winning this award is a welcome external endorsement for an approach that we believe is unique within the private healthcare market; a demonstration that clinical best practice can be successfully delivered in a commercial setting to the benefit of the service user and the employer alike.”

In addition to offering the Back-Up service to its own staff, Back-Up is currently available to customers covering 250 or more employees on an Aviva’s corporate private health insurance policy. The invaluable service will shortly be made available to Aviva’s small group and individual private health insurance customers.     


For further information, please contact:  
Holly Smart                
Telephone: 01904 452766
E-mail: Holly.Smart@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Health and Wellbeing from Aviva
Established in 1990 as the healthcare arm of Norwich Union, Norwich Union Healthcare was re-branded to Aviva in 2009. We provide a range of private medical insurance, income protection, occupational health and group life products and services that cover over 2,400,000 lives. We are one of the largest providers of income protection, group life and private medical insurance in the UK. 

Norwich Union Occupation Health, a sister company of Norwich Union Healthcare, was also re-branded to Aviva in 2009. Occupational Health provides occupational health solutions and services to a wide range of industry sectors. By utilising their large fleet of purpose built mobile clinics and approved medical centres, staffed by a team of experienced occupational physicians and nursing staff, the services are designed to meet the individual needs of clients.

Aviva Health UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Association of British Insurers and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva’s internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

About Aviva

  • Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
  • In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers.  Aviva also provides roadside assistance through the RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.
  • Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.
  • Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.

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