Equipsme members – some of the women we’ve helped along the way

Equipsme members some of the women we’ve helped along the way

In honour of Mother’s Day, International Women’s Day, and other female health awareness campaigns in March, we’re focussing in on some of the women who’ve used Equipsme’s services - and how it’s helped them get better, faster outcomes.

“Women obviously face different health issues to men,” explains Rhonwen Beasley, Head of Operations at Equipsme. “And they are more likely to experience health inequality – to have their symptoms dismissed or diminished by medical professionals. They are also more likely to be the gatekeepers of their family’s health, making all the appointments, decisions, and taking on the majority of caring responsibilities.

“All of that means women need health back-up. And here at Equipsme we have been very pleased to be able to provide that for so many.”

Here are a few of their stories.

Abi’s story

Abi started experiencing neurological symptoms and pain after a vaccine, and was unable to work. A single mum of two with no local family support, things were very difficult and the NHS didn’t have any answers. So Abi called up Equipsme, and arranged to see a specialist at a local private hospital through her plan. She got the scans she needed to rule out anything sinister, and the medication she needed to get back on her feet, and back to work.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been that ill for that long, and I’ll be honest that I was actually getting quite worried about myself. It just felt like my whole body was letting me down and there wasn’t any help. Having the power to do something about all that felt amazing. I could pick when and where to see someone around the kids, and get seen fast.

“Gradually the feeling in my left-hand side came back, the fire in my head became manageable, and my shingles rash cleared up. Life is amazing when it doesn’t hurt! I’m lucky it wasn’t more serious, I’m lucky to have such a sympathetic and supportive workplace - and I’m particularly lucky that I had Equipsme as back-up. It was there exactly when I needed it, and did exactly what it was supposed to do. I got help, I got peace of mind, I got back to work – and I got back to being a proper Mum.”

Holly’s story

Holly was brushing her daughter’s hair when she suddenly couldn’t speak, and half collapsed. She was rushed to A&E and diagnosed with a mini-stroke. It came as a massive shock, and Holly decided she didn’t want to wait and worry months before she could get in to see a heart specialist on the NHS. Thanks to her Equipsme plan, she saw a private cardiologist within a fortnight.

“It felt so much better to know where I was and what the plan was. The very hardest thing about having a diagnosis is the waiting game. Just having the road map laid out for me was such a relief.

“Equipsme was there exactly when I needed it. It got me to the right place at the right time, which is exactly what private medical insurance should be there to do. I’m proof that you just never know when you’re going to need it. You could be absolutely fighting fit, and then something comes out of left field and takes you completely by surprise. With private medical insurance in your corner, you can be prepared for anything. I’m so pleased we were.”

Natasha’s story

Natasha’s 4 year old daughter Sarah had been really ill with an infection, but the medicine she was given seemed to be making her worse not better. It was a Friday night, Sarah was really distressed, and Natasha had no idea what to do. So she decided to call the Equipsme nurse advice line for some help.

“I thought, we can’t carry on like this for a whole weekend! Someone needs to tell me what the hell it is I need to do, whether to carry on with the medicine, reduce it, change something else we’re doing - or even get ourselves down to A& E.

“The woman who answered the phone was a mum herself and she was just so helpful and calming. She really took the time to listen to what had been going on, didn’t rush me through, and gave me some really good advice. We talked about reducing the dose of the medicine she was taking, keeping Sarah’s fluids up, the best food to eat to keep her tummy settled, what to do if her temperature kept going up - and when to call 111 or 999.

“Getting that reassurance and care was exactly what I needed. The nurse I talked to even called me back the next day on the Saturday to check in on us and see how we’d got on overnight.”

Elinor’s story

When Elinor’s daughter fell ill with a bad cold and cough while travelling the US, the local pharmacy prescribed some medication. But when she kept getting worse, the family didn’t know whether to let her rest, call on their travel insurance, battle the notoriously expensive America healthcare system, or try something else. Then Elinor remembered the 24/7 GP service through Equipsme.

“I knew you could access Equipsme from anywhere in the world, so I called to make an appointment. I spoke to a doctor in the UK within an hour. It was 3am back in the UK when we spoke – which is a pretty amazing service! And it was SO reassuring.

“The doctor said the spray we'd been sold wouldn't be recommended in the UK, which gave me the confidence to ditch it right away. It was great to be able to talk through my Evie's symptoms in detail without feeling rushed, or dismissed. After a bit of a chat,

she provided the generic name of a different medicine, so we could go back out to a pharmacy the next day armed with a bit more knowledge and ask for something specific.

“As soon as Evie started on it, we saw the difference. She picked up almost immediately, and we were able to carry on with our holiday – and she was actually able to enjoy it.”