RED ARC is one of the key but probably least understood components of our Group Insurance Scheme. Whilst a number of members have used the service, and have given us fantastic feedback about the service they received, we want to use this article to raise awareness of the support that is available to all Group Insurance members as and when you may need it.
Please remember that this is a family benefit and the service is available to you, and your immediate family and dependents.
About RED ARC
RED ARC was established in 1997 as an Independent Care Advisory Service, providing practical advice and emotional support for people suffering a serious illness, bereavement or long-term disability at different life stages.
The advice and support they provided is totally confidential and no information or details will be passed to the Force, Federation or even contained within your NHS records. No-one will know you have called except you and your nurse advisor at Red Arc.
Why Is There A Need For These Services?
Mainstream services such as the NHS and Social Services are coming under increasing strain to deliver on targets such as waiting lists. As a result patient’s expectations with regards to the service they should receive cannot always be met. The reality is that there is little time for the patient, especially in the ‘softer skills’ of listening, reassuring and informing. This shortfall can cause real distress at times of serious illness, or at the onset of a chronic condition or disability that is affecting you and your family.
The Specialist nurse advisors are focussed only on you and the time they can spend talking to you is dependent wholly upon your needs.
How the Service Works?
As well as critical illness support our scheme provides support for a wide range of conditions including mental health problems, work related stress and muscular-skeletal problems.
Patients are automatically referred as the result of a critical illness claim through the Group Insurance Scheme Provider, or can make contact themselves as a member of the Group Insurance Scheme for support on any other health related matter. When necessary, and with your specific consent and permission, your Federation Representative can even make that initial call for you and ask a nurse advisor to contact you.
However the initial contact is made, the process is the same:
- A Personal Nurse Adviser calls
- Ongoing Support
- Additional Help
The initial call introduces the nurse and explains exactly how the service can help. If contact can’t be made, then a letter is sent explaining what the service offers and assuring you of the confidentiality of the service.
Following the initial call, the nurse takes time to listen and understand how they can help both emotionally and practically. Regular support calls are put in place and in many cases this relationship continues for several years – remember this is focussed on your needs and each of us are different.
Where clinically appropriate, at the discretion of the Nurse, your nurse advisor may identify additional support or therapy that could help to speed up recovery or make life more comfortable. They can organise a very wide range of additional help e.g. one-off Specialist Nurse Visit, counselling, specialised physiotherapy, speech & language therapy, complementary therapies, specialist equipment, the list is wide and varied.
In addition, the nurses regularly supply CDs, DVDs, books, leaflets, factsheets and health related books including some specifically designed for children.
The RED ARC ethos is all about being creative in helping people when they need it most.
Your Personal Nurse Adviser will be available to you by telephone in normal business hours, and will be able to provide information and support for as long as you need it.
RED ARC can also provide information about charities specialising in your particular health condition, and can often direct you to self-help groups that will help you come to terms, and cope better, with your problem. Home adaptation and special equipment to aid everyday living are other important areas where we can provide guidance.
The RED ARC service is included as part of your group insurance package and the service they provide will not cost you anything further and is totally confidential. If you feel that they could support and assist you or your family you should ring RED ARC on 01244 625183 in normal business hours.