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National Friendly reveal most common ailments

In the week when the NHS announced that all of the non-emergency orthopaedic work for University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust in the South West of England would now be subcontracted to a private contractor, National Friendly release data on the most common reasons why its private healthcare insurance policyholders make claims.

Top of the list for National Friendly are injuries which account for just over 21% of total claims paid. Within this category, injuries to the knee and leg are most common, accounting for more than a quarter of all injury related claims paid, followed by sprains to the hip and thigh.*

The second largest claim category relates to diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue, making up a fifth of all cases. Lower back pain complaints, for so long one of the most quoted causes of time off work, account for 17% of cases treated privately by National Friendly, whereas internal derangement of the knee accounts for 23% of cases.

Duncan Reeves, Customer Services Manager at National Friendly observes that, “For our customers, it is knee and hip ailments which lead the way for claims, which are important areas for NHS patients too. However, whilst NHS patients may have to join waiting lists which can be up to 18 weeks long, National Friendly customers with private medical insurance could be seen and treated much quicker.”

With the NHS now subcontracting more work to private contractors, lines are inevitably becoming blurred between the private and public sectors when it comes to non-emergency orthopaedic work. Duncan added further, “I would not be surprised if increasingly people focus on the lifestyle aspect of a treatment and decide whether they want to be treated quickly or not. If they do, the private option is potentially an attractive one.”

Celebrating its 150th year in business this year, National Friendly was founded to provide sickness benefits for its members and today offers a range of innovative insurance and savings products.

Details of National Friendly and its insurance policies are available on its website –

* National Friendly invoices paid by condition type, June 2017 to August 2018


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