Prescription for change | KPMG | UK
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Prescription for change: consumers demanding greater choice and convenience from health services

Prescription for change

A KPMG survey of more than 1,000 consumers reveals a shift in people turning to technology for instant advice on health* and wellness**, instead of seeking professional help in person. Millennials in particular are looking for convenience.


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• KPMG surveyed more than 1,000 UK consumers on their health and wellness
• Majority use the internet to self-diagnose before seeking professional help
• Almost half of under-35s are willing to pay privately for access to improved health and wellness services
• Pharmacies are seriously underutilised, revealing clear opportunities to improve services.

A KPMG survey of more than 1,000 consumers reveals a shift in people turning to technology for instant advice on health* and wellness**, instead of seeking professional help in person. Millennials in particular are looking for convenience.

Dr Internet
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents said they attempt to self-diagnose when they have a health issue – looking for immediate and convenient advice from the internet. Strikingly, only 15% said they seek advice from a pharmacist.

Pay for better services

Fifty per cent of all respondents rated our country’s healthcare system as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Under-35s in particular revealed that they are looking for convenience and are willing to pay for access to improved services over and above what is provided for free by the NHS. Almost half (42%) of those millennials surveyed revealed they would delve into their pockets to get a better health service, compared to only 32 per cent overall saying they would cough up.

More than 40 per cent agreed they would be willing to pay for improvements in services delivered outside of GP practices or hospitals – such as nutrition advice and support for smoking cessation. While more than 60 percent in the under-35 group said that they would be prepared to fork out.

Robert Browne, partner with KPMG’s strategy practice, comments on the survey findings: “Clearly our health system is under budgetary pressure and focusing more on treatments than on advising consumers on wellbeing and lifestyle choices. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that half of our respondents rate our system as poor or very poor. What is surprising, however, is the number of respondents – particularly those under 35 – who would be willing to pay privately for improved services, especially in the wellness arena.

“In addition, there is a clear divide between what the under-35s expect compared with older age groups, which is perhaps a sign that our health and wellness services will need to adapt over time – and technology can enable this change. There is clearly demand in the market for technology innovations that offer health and wellness service at the touch of a button.”

Chris Stirling, KPMG’s global lead for life sciences, adds: “The survey makes it clear that our pharmacies are seriously underutilised. There is an opportunity for pharmacies to adapt to consumers’ evolving needs for convenience and support, whether that’s through the use of technology or investment in new capabilities and services.

“Of course, partly what’s needed is education for consumers about what their local pharmacy can provide, as many services are available today and perhaps consumers are simply not aware. However, they also need to keep innovating their services and support and avoid relying on prescriptions for the majority of their income.

“There are opportunities for pharmacies to boost their income through the use of technology, as well as through nutritional and weight management advice, smoking cessation support, treatment for minor injuries and ailments, and by providing routine health check-ups.”


For media enquiries, please contact:
Helen Jackson, KPMG corporate communications
T: +44 (0) 118 373 1479
M: +44 (0) 790 111 5649
Follow us on twitter: @kpmguk

About the survey

Read the survey.
KPMG conducted a nationally representative primary market research study in January 2017 profiling the needs and attitudes towards healthcare and wellbeing of 1,057 consumers. There were 220 respondents under 35.

*Health services includes primary and secondary NHS healthcare, such as GP practices and hospitals.

** Wellness services includes any services that are delivered outside of primary / secondary healthcare, such as diet and nutrition services, weight loss services, or smoking cessation support.

About KPMG
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 13,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.07 billion in the year ended 30 September 2016. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.


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