Preparing for treatment
during coronavirus (COVID-19)
The pandemic may have disrupted treatment for many people, but we’ve adapted and added services to keep you fully updated and to look after you in the meantime.
What’s the situation with hospital admissions?
With the NHS under pressure across the UK as COVID-19 cases surge, some hospitals may be delaying some private treatment. We’re updating the Bupa Finder tool every day with hospitals’ latest availability.
Hospitals are taking extra precautionary steps to keep patients safe, such as asking them to take a COVID-19 test and then isolate before admission. If you’re due to see a Bupa-recognised healthcare professional, we recommend you ask them whether your treatment is likely to be affected.
What to do if your treatment is cancelled or delayed
For everyone’s safety, and to help us support the NHS, some procedures have had to be cancelled or delayed because of the coronavirus. However, we’ll help you get back on track as quickly as possible as the healthcare system returns to normal. On this page, you’ll find advice on how to get support while you're preparing for your treatment. This might include remote services, for example.
We can keep you fully informed if we have your up to date contact details. So if anything’s changed, please use the form below to update us. You can use the same form for pre-authorisation for appointments, tests and treatment, and we’ll send your code back by text message.
Bupa Anytime HealthLine
Your cover means you can talk to a Bupa nurse or GP at any time of the day or night. It’s ideal if you have a worry about things like:
- rashes, bumps and lumps
- back pain
- vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain
- fever, flu, cough or headache
- medication enquiries
- poorly children
We understand that waiting for a diagnosis or treatment can be an anxious time, so we offer a wide range of easy-to-access emotional support. That could mean talking to a nurse, mental health support online or by phone, or counselling for cancer patients. You can usually access these without a GP referral.
If you have mental health cover on your policy, you can choose to talk to a Bupa-recognised therapist by phone or video. For mild to moderate mental health conditions, we also offer online CBT, which can easily be completed at home. And anyone can get information, advice and support from our mental health hub.
Call 0808 115 6288^ to speak to our mental health support team. You’ll need to have your membership number to hand.
Our Mental Health Hub
If you’re wondering about any conditions that may be affecting your heart, blood and circulation, our health information pages have detailed information on conditions, procedures and treatments. If you’re seeing a consultant, then here’s some information about standard tests you might be having:
You can also contact the British Heart Foundation for information, support and community groups. They also have a special page about what COVID-19 means for anyone with a heart or circulatory condition. The British Heart Foundation also currently offers cardiac rehab at home.
^ Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-6pm. We may record or monitor our calls.
Advice for cancer (oncology) patients
It’s important to us that don’t feel like you’re on your own. So as part of our cancer care, we offer a dedicated oncology support team throughout your period of cover.
Contact our oncology support team
Call Call 0345 850 0465^
Find out how we could help you Live Well with Cancer (PDF 1.5MB)
If you have any questions about cancer, you need support, or you just want someone to talk to, call the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000^^ or visit the Macmillan website
You can also get information, advice and support from Cancer Research UK
Specialist patient support
Our oncology specialist patient support clinical team, along with their dedicated advisers, can offer you personalised support to help you stay in the best possible health as you prepare for your treatment. This includes signposting and guided support specific to your condition, as well as health coaching and lifestyle advice.
Our oncology nurses are following Macmillan's guidance to ensure that wherever cancer patients are having to wait for treatment, they are prepared as well as possible. As part of our cancer promise, you can also take comfort in knowing that our counsellors offer emotional and psychological support whenever you may need it.
Chemotherapy at home
If you’re currently having treatment for cancer, we want to do everything we can to make things easier for you. That’s why, wherever possible, we offer chemotherapy treatment (delivered by a specialist nurse) in the comfort of your own home or at an infusion centre. Please ask your consultant about this service. As part of our cancer promise, we offer access to any eligible evidence-based breakthrough cancer drugs and treatments.
^ Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm. We may record or monitor our calls.
^^ Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.
Our women’s health information pages explain a range of conditions, treatments and procedures. Common procedures that you might be waiting for include:
You may also find the following menopause pages useful:
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists offers further information and advice specific to pregnancy and women’s health during the pandemic.
You can get further information and advice specific to knee pain and treatments at Bupa’s knee clinic.
^ Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under your policy. If your cover excludes conditions you had before your policy started, we’ll ask you to provide evidence from your GP that your symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from policy start date (or five years in the case of mental health) before we can refer you to a consultant through the Direct Access service. Always call us first to check your eligibility
There are many benefits to this service:
- - It can be done from the comfort of your own home
- - You don’t need a GP to refer you*
- - It’s available nationwide
- - After registering, you’ll receive your kit in as little as one working day**
- - You’ll get your results back within three working days, which is on average three times faster than seeing a dermatologist in person
- - If your result shows there’s nothing to worry about, you’ll receive a link to a report within 24 hours
- - If further investigation is needed, we’ll call you to discuss your next steps and can help you with onward referral
To use this service, please call our Cancer Direct Access team on 0800 012 1305^
*Subject to your policy’s usual T&Cs. Exclusion criteria apply (see below).
** Next working day delivery guaranteed if you register before 2pm.
^ Lines are open 8am 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am 4pm Saturday. We may record or monitor our calls.
Exclusions with this service
This service is available to Bupa patients aged 18 or above, providing your policy covers it. However, it isn’t appropriate for all skin concerns. If any of the following apply, you’ll need a face-to-face appointment with a GP or dermatologist:
- - Rashes or other skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis
- - More than three moles of concern
- - Moles which are wider than 2cm
- - Moles which have previously been biopsied
Advice, tips and support from our experts on preparing for treatment
Understanding your upcoming procedure
Our health information pages include general advice about key aspects of surgery, as well as most hospital treatments and procedures. Some of the most common include:
- Having a general anaesthetic
- Having a local anaesthetic
- Having an epidural for surgery and/or pain relief
- Caring for a surgical wound
Find your own condition or procedure using the button below.Visit the A-Z
Got a question? We’re here to help
†Prescription delivery is available Monday to Saturday with same-day delivery in Greater London and next day delivery in the rest of the UK if you select before 5pm. Click and collect private prescriptions can usually be picked up within 60 minutes from your chosen pharmacy, depending on their opening hours. You can collect over the weekend at selected pharmacies. These prescriptions are private so you will need to pay for the medication.
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Bupa Anytime HealthLine is provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ
Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London EC2R 7HJ