Tests and scans and the importance of early diagnosis

Tests and scans and the importance of early diagnosis

At Equipsme, our aim is make getting better, better.

We want to get people fighting fit (and working fit) as quickly as possible. Swift intervention can save people worry, stop small issues from escalating - and potentially catch bigger issues early when they’re easier to treat.

Early diagnosis can make a huge difference to health outcomes, but with NHS waiting lists at an all-time high, more and more people are putting off getting seen, or are left languishing in a queue.

Fears are rising about how many people are missing out on that early diagnosis, and in particular the hidden epidemic of missed cancer cases. Without significant change, it’s estimated 340,000 people between 2019 and 2028 will have or are going to miss out on an early cancer diagnosis.

Why does early diagnosis matter?

The figures, particularly when it comes to something like cancer, are pretty stark.

Taking bowel cancer as an example - the 4th most common cancer in the UK – when spotted at Stage 1 before spreading elsewhere, 90% of people will survive it for 5 years or more after their diagnosis. At Stage 4, only 10% will.

The same goes for most other forms of cancer. With lung cancer 55% will survive for 5 years if it’s diagnosed at Stage 1, by Stage 4 that drops to only 5%. And with cervical cancer the drop is from 95% to 15%, prostate cancer from nearly 100% at Stage 1 to 50% at Stage 4.

 Tests and scans play a vital role in diagnosing many medical conditions like cancer at those crucial early stages, as well as determining treatment and tracking its progress.

 What tests and scans are included with Equipsme?

When diagnosis is part of your Equipsme plan, that means your people get not just a referral to a private specialist consultant, but also the tests or scans they need to understand what the problem is - and what next steps or treatments might look like.

Tests and scans are covered on all plans from Level 3 – so on all levels but our basic GP only package. They must be medically necessary, recommended by an AXA Health approved consultant and authorised by AXA Health before they go ahead to make sure that the condition/treatment you are claiming for is covered under the plan. They can include any of the following, in any combination:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine and faeces analysis
  • Ultrasounds
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • PET scans
  • MRI scans

What’s the value of tests and scans?

 Depending on the types of test a consultant orders, diagnostic scans can add up to thousands of pounds worth of medical care.

An MRI scan, for instance, can cost from anywhere between £200 and £1,500 depending on the body part that’s being scanned, and a single CT scan can be around £300-500 for a single body part.

It’s why our £20 per person per month plan is such great value for money. While it doesn’t include cover for private treatment, what it can do is help get people to the right place and the right doctor faster - and help get them the right tests and ultimately the answers they need.

It’s an option that might well be worth considering at renewal, or just reminding staff that they can also choose to upgrade their own cover to get access to our private diagnosis services for themselves and their families.

Find out more about our plans here, or talk to our team about your renewal options by emailing members@equipsme.com.

 Member-facing articles for your internal comms:

What is an MRI or CT scan?
How to see a consultant for diagnosis through your Equipmse plan
How to add family to your Equipsme plan