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Managing Absence – Our history as the UK’s leading absence management provider

We’ve refined our service over the last 13 years. As a result you get a decade’s worth of options based on our work managing absence with organisations ranging from NHS trusts to blue chip companies.
FirstCare started life in 2004 as Health and Absence Services, and over the last 13 years we’ve changed our name, expanded, adapted and evolved to become the UK authority on absence and its financial impact.
We currently maintain the UK’s largest database on absence, covering 185,000 employees, and we’ve recorded over 13.1 million absences to date. We also work with organisations such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive to provide insight and improve standards.
2004
2006
2008
2010
2012
2014
2004
FirstCare was founded in November 2004 as one of the very first absence management companies in the UK.
Established at a small office in Southwark in south east London, one of our earliest decisions concerned our IT platform – would we build it in-house or outsource it? It was a short discussion that resulted in unanimous agreement; we would build it ourselves. The benefits of owning our system, and the resulting customisation we would be able to offer our clients, far outweighed any supposed cost savings that could be derived from outsourcing. With the system built we then assembled a modest 9 to 5 call centre and engaged several organisations interested in trying a unique and new approach to managing absence.
2006
Our first 2 years were all about establishing a strong foundation, and 2006 was notable for several key events.
We expanded our call centre to be 24/7, successfully launched our first NHS clients and grew the number of employees covered by the service to 18,000. As a result we recruited more staff and moved to a bigger office in Waterloo.
2008
By June 2008 the service was covering more than 33,000 employees across 20 different clients.
With nearly 4 years of experience under our belt, the time had come to carry out a full review of our service and identify ways in which to innovate and develop it further.
This included the launch of several tools and initiatives that remain in place to this day. These included launching annual Client User Groups, adding return to work interview compliance tracking and releasing the very first version of myFirstCare, our online management information portal. 2008 was also the year that we launched our Information Security Management System (ISMS) which was successfully certified to ISO27001 before the year’s end.
2010
In late 2009 FirstCare acquired the organisation Active Health Partners (AHP).
One of our big projects for 2010 was merging the systems, staff and processes of both organisations into one, a project that gave rise to more innovation and service development, including an overhaul of our medical advice triage and the launch of a brand new reporting suite.
It was also in this year that FirstCare were successfully certified to the BS25999 standards for Business continuity.
2012
By 2012 the FirstCare service had grown to cover close to 70,000 employees.
This growth was possible thanks to a set of fantastic case studies that showed the FirstCare service works. These cases studies included clients such as Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Watford Borough Council and First London and Berkshire, who between them all had an average absence reduction of more than 30%. This success led to FirstCare winning a place on two nationwide framework agreements.
2014
By the end of 2014 the FirstCare service covered more than 140,000 employees.
We had been successful in introducing our service to new industries, including construction, finance and retail while at the same time deepening our understanding of current customers, such as the NHS.
Several landmarks were also crossed in 2014; we recorded our 10 millionth day of absence, secured our biggest ever absence reduction (58% at Stansted Airport) and had our 5 millionth login to the myFirstCare portal. It was also our 10 year anniversary, which afforded an ideal opportunity to reflect the past decade and start planning for the next one.

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Do you want to improve productivity, streamline admin and support employees?
FirstCare delivers all three. Let’s discuss your specific challenges and how the right absence management solution will help you overcome them. Get in touch by phone or email for a free consultation. Or you can request a call back using the form below.