Nearly 7 million adults worry about access to medical treatment

  • 3.7m (7%) of UK adults say they, or family member, have experienced delays to medical diagnosis, treatment or operation
  • 13.7m adults – 26% of the adult population – say they have felt lonely or isolated over the past three months
  • Parents are worried about the mental health of their adult children - 28% of parents of 18-21-year-olds are worried their child is feeling isolated or depressed

Research from protection specialist LV= highlights how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the physical and mental health of the general public.

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor* - a quarterly survey 4,000 UK consumers – indicates that:

Many are worried that lockdown is affecting access to medical treatments

  • 6.8million** adults (13%) are worried that they won’t be able to get medical treatment if they need it, with people aged over 55 particularly concerned
  • Some 3.7million (7%) adults have experienced, or a family member has experienced, a delay to a medical diagnosis, treatment or operation

LV= is anticipating a rise in advanced stage cancer diagnoses and claims in 2021 and 2022 caused by a backlog of screenings and delays to early treatment. In April 2020, LV= recorded a 45% fall in critical illness claims compared to 2019 figures. About 2,700* fewer people were diagnosed with cancer each week, and in May 2020 there was a 47%** fall in urgent cancer referrals compared to May 2019. 

The pandemic, lockdown and fears about contracting covid has left adults feeling increasingly lonely and anxious

  • 13.7m adults – 26% of the adult population – say they have felt lonely or isolated over the past three months
  • Over half of women (52%) have felt stressed or anxious in the past three months compared to a third of men (33%)

Adding to anxiety for parents is their fears for their adult children’s education and their mental health

  • 39% of parents of university-aged children (18-21) worry about their education being disrupted and 26% worry about the subsequent impact on their exams 
  • Parents also worry about their 18-21-year-olds’ mental health - 28% fear their children are feeling isolated or depressed 
  • 18-24-year-olds are more likely (36%) to feel isolated or lonely compared to the general population (26%)

Debbie Kennedy, Director of Protection at LV=, said:

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of financial resilience and revealed just how precarious the finances of many people are, particularly those who are self-employed, and highlights the important benefits of protecting income.

“Fears about the financial impact of coronavirus, impending jobs losses, disrupted education and isolation caused by lockdown are all factors behind the general population’s rising anxiety levels.

“We have an opportunity as an industry to show that we have the solutions to address these concerns and there is more we can offer beyond the product.

“At LV=, we are proud to offer a range of mental health and medical support services for members. These include remote GP consultations and counselling via LV= Doctor Services for vulnerable customers who need extra support, and a dedicated emotional wellbeing helpline for young adults up to the age of 23, who may be children of our members, or policyholders.” (See below)

LV= member support services

LV= provides additional support services for members without the need to make a claim.

LV= Doctor Services includes medical advice from a UK GP available remotely through the Square Health app or over the phone, while the Remote GP service has been extended to provide 24-hour support for people struggling to get appointments with a medical expert. Over the COVID pandemic period LV= has seen an uplift in LV= Dr Services app downloads and increase in remote GP appointments.

The LV= Second Opinion service covers all medical conditions, including cancer, heart and cardiovascular, stroke and mental health issues. The LV= Second Opinion service covers all medical conditions, including cancer, heart and cardiovascular, stroke and mental health issues. Claimants will not be asked to pay a contribution towards any consultation fees.

A member care line gives policyholders access to a 24/7 counselling line for immediate help on any worries or concerns that they may have. This is operated by UK trained counsellors who are experienced in supporting on a range of issues. LV= also offers a dedicated counselling line for 16-23 year olds to support on with a range of mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression.

LV= also introduced a premium reduction option for existing protection policyholders, providing additional support and reassurance for those suffering financially through the pandemic.


*LV= surveyed 4,000 nationally representative UK adults via an online omnibus conducted by Opinium in December 2020.

** Figure based on UK adult population of 52.6m

For further information please contact:

David Gwyer
Media Relations Manager – Life & Pensions
07798 796907
Candice South
Press Officer - Life & Pensions
07867 141547

About LV=

LV= is a leading financial mutual and serves over 1.3 million members with a range of financial products. When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products. We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs. 

LV= and Liverpool Victoria are registered trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited and LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, registered in England with registration number 12383237 is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, register number 110035. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF.