Virtual GP app significantly reduced staff absences in 2022

  • Data from Canada Life’s WeCare support services showed a 27% increase in the number of registrations in 2022
  • Over half (54%) of users of the app were able to avoid taking time off work due to their virtual WeCare consultation
  • Mental health support was one of the most accessed services in 2022


At a time of increased pressures on the NHS and long waiting times for GP appointments, demand for virtual services was up by more than a quarter (27%) in 2022, according to Canada Life’s WeCare1 data.


WeCare2 offers an extensive range of virtual services including GP consultations, Mental Health, Nutrition, and Best Doctors (Second Medical Opinion) plus Legal and Financial support. Employers offering WeCare saw a reduction in absences through illness in 2022.


A survey of 2,100 patients post consultation revealed that more than half (54%) confirmed they were able to avoid taking time off work due to the consultation, and a further 27% experienced a swifter return to the workplace than initially expected. 


When asked what they would have done without access to the service, over a fifth (22%) admitted they would have waited for their condition to worsen.


Some of the key trends for WeCare in 2022 were:


Improving access to mental health support:

  • In 2022, mental health support was one of the most accessed services, accounting for around one in four (27%) managed cases. Among these cases, 59% were women and 41% were men.
  • The intervention of WeCare support resulted in significant improvements in most cases, with 19% of all cases no longer classified as requiring further support based on clinical definitions.


Effective virtual GP appointments:

  • Every patient who was surveyed and used the WeCare virtual GP service spoke to a doctor quickly enough that their condition didn’t deteriorate.
  • Further to this, more than half (54%) of members were able to receive care from the comfort of their own homes and required no further medical intervention. Of the other patients following a consultation with the virtual GP  24% were asked to attend follow-up consultations with GPs, 17% received specialist referrals, and 5% were directed to A&E or emergency department in their local NHS hospital.


Ian Ranger, head of claims and medical underwriting, Canada Life group insurance commented:

“It’s positive to see the impact that our WeCare services had last year, by reducing staff absences in the workplace and getting employees back into the workplace in a healthy and timely manner. However, as we recreate a new norm following the pandemic, we are now starting to see the legacy from the psychological impact on our nation.


“The data from WeCare highlights the continuous demand and necessity for mental health services and support, as well as virtual GP appointments. While it’s reassuring to see such a positive contribution that this service is having on individuals' lives, it’s also a stark reminder that mental health does not discriminate and can impact anyone.”




1  Source: Canada Life managed case data for WeCare support services 2022

WeCare is an extensive range of virtual services offering holistic help via medical, mental, legal and financial support. This includes health, mental health and wellbeing support, and includes virtual GP consultations, second medical opinion services, smoking cessation support, mental health support, life event counselling, burnout prevention, diet support and get fit programmes.


WeCare provides:

  • Clarity of journey; by bringing all services under one roof, it provides a clear and concise single contact point for employees and family members to access all services
  • Accessibility, through a variety of convenient access points (phone, email, web, app)
  • Quality of contact; from the outset a WeCare service user can access a variety of healthcare professionals.


WeCare was launched in November 2020 to CLASS customers, and extended to Canada Life Group Income Protection clients 01/03/2021. WeCare is a non-contractual benefit provided through Canada Life and can be altered or withdrawn at any time.


WeCare is delivered by Teladoc Health UK, a global leader in whole-person virtual healthcare.



Press enquiries should be directed to:

Lizzie Murray, Vested, 07914 698310,

Elle McAtamney, Canada Life, 07913 568213,


Notes to Editors:


About Canada Life

Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 38 million customers worldwide and £1.532trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2022).


Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown to become the leading provider of competitively priced group insurance solutions. Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.


Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


About WeCare

WeCare provides an extensive range of virtual services delivering holistic support to improve the medical, mental, legal and financial wellbeing of today’s employees. Available through a simple app, WeCare provides easy access to 24/7 GP consultations, mental health support, get fit programmes and much more. Find out more here.


About Teladoc Health UK

Teladoc Health UK are the UK division of the global Teladoc Health group. Teladoc Health leverages more than 20 years of world-leading and award-winning virtual care expertise and data-driven insights. People who use our services have access to over 50,000 global medical experts – the very best in their field.