How well can a doctor know a patient from their notes alone?

If a client is suffering from a serious illness, they might feel they need a second medical opinion to help get to the bottom of things, or to be reassured about a course of treatment. And if they’re feeling unsure about their condition, they may want a second opinion from a doctor who gets to see them, not just their notes.

Jennifer Gilchrest

With our support service, Helping Hand, a personal nurse adviser can organise access to a second opinion from a relevant medical expert. The nurse adviser will carry out research to find the consultant best suited to your client’s needs. Or, if the client already has a particular specialist in mind, the nurse adviser can arrange a consultation with them within a week or two.

Unlike similar services, our second-opinion consultations usually take place face to face within the NHS or private sector in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man — whichever is most appropriate for each client.

The face-to-face aspect of this service means a doctor can make a recommendation based on the client themselves — as well as their existing investigations and medical notes. Clients also have the added reassurance that their consultation is in line with NICE guidelines (or equivalent) — and that any recommended course of treatment would usually be accessible through the NHS.

We know that the need for extra help often doesn’t stop after the second-opinion consultation has taken place. That’s why your client’s personal nurse adviser will still be there to offer tailored practical and emotional support for as long as it’s needed.

They can arrange for counselling or therapies such as aromatherapy massage to help a client cope with their illness or treatment. Or they could just be there to listen and offer advice when times get tough.

Helping Hand is included in the cost of all our menu and relevant life plans, and your clients don’t pay any extra for additional services. They don’t even need to make a claim to use it.

And their family (spouse/partner and children) can use the service too — even if they’re not covered by the plan.

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To find out more about Helping Hand and our face-to-face second-medical-opinion service, visit

Jennifer Gilchrest
Senior Product Development Manager
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