Open main menu

Benenden Health (formerly The Post Office Sanatorium Society) is a mutual society in the UK providing private medical cover. Its membership consists of over 800,000 individuals and employees of corporate schemes provided by them.[1] Benenden Health has been the shirt sponsor of York City Football Club since the 2012–13 season.

Benenden Health
Limited company
HeadquartersYork, United Kingdom
Key people
Bob Andrews, Chief Executive Officer
Productspersonal healthcare, business healthcare, health cash plan, travel insurance, home insurance, hospital, health assessment
Number of employees



The Post Office Sanatorium Society was founded in 1905 to help working class Post Office employees control the tuberculosis epidemic when conventional medical insurance was not widely affordable. The business model of weekly member fees was proposed by a Post Office clerk, Charles Garland.

In 1923 the name became The Post Office and Civil Service Sanatorium Society, as the membership was opened to a new industry. In October 1990, the registered office moved from London to York. Ahead of its Time, a film about Benenden Health's history was made by Trafalgar Productions in 2011.

In June 2012, delegates at Benenden Health's annual conference in Manchester voted to remove the last of its membership eligibility criteria, meaning that any United Kingdom resident aged 16 and over can now join Benenden Health.[2] Also in June 2012, Benenden Health became shirt sponsor of York City Football Club.[3]

In January 2013, 'Benenden Healthcare Society' rebranded with new trading style 'benenden health'.[4] Due to the rebrand, the society also enabled a free mid-season shirt swap with York City Football Club.[5]

In June 2013, Benenden Health was voted UK's 'most trusted' private healthcare provider for the third year running in the Moneywise Most Trusted awards.[6] As of January 2018, it has been voted for this award for seven years running.

As of 2015, the organisation was trading as 'Benenden'.

In 2017, Benenden Health was voted 'Most trusted health insurance provider via employer' in the Moneywise Customer Service Awards.

In early 2018, the society rebranded as Benenden Health.


Benenden Health has recently[when?] added further products beyond healthcare, including travel and home insurance. Benenden Health relaunched a Health Cash Plan for its members in 2017.

Satisfaction surveys vary from a 2017 in-house survey where 4 out of 5 existing members said they'd recommend the organisation (from 1,208 reviews) to its own Facebook page reviews section. The company was awarded a 1 star rating in a Best Companies survey in 2015/16 and achieved the status of 'one to watch' in 2017.

Benenden HospitalEdit

Benenden Hospital was founded in 1907 in Benenden, Kent and became the centre for hospital treatment for members of Trade Unions and Friendly Societies and subsequently large numbers of public sector employees who joined what is now Benenden Health.

The services provided at the hospital have moved with the times. From treatment for tuberculosis - which was its original role - to the management of chest diseases, to the current day where the hospital provides a wide range of consultation, diagnosis and treatment services for most medical and surgical specialties.

In recent years the hospital has increasingly taken patients who are not members of Benenden Health. Local National Health Service agencies are increasing their use of the hospital's facilities, as are patients who use private medical insurance or who pay directly for their own hospital care. The hospital provides a range of clinical services which are tailored to meet the needs of individual patients. The hospital has a Modern Matron – a senior and experienced professional – who has the authority to resolve problems. It was rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission in May 2017. 22% of its activity is now commissioned by the NHS, mostly orthopaedic, gynaecology and ophthalmology surgery for adults.[7]


  1. ^ "About Benenden". Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  2. ^ "Benenden Healthcare set to open doors to all". 21 June 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Benenden Healthcare to support Wembley winners York City FC in forthcoming season". 14 June 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Benenden Healthcare rebrands and looks to grow in tough healthcare market". 23 January 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ "York City sponsor in "Shirt Swap"". 22 January 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Benenden Health scoops hat trick of prestigious customer service awards". 14 June 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Independent provider to NHS rated 'outstanding' by CQC". Health Service Journal. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.

Further readingEdit

  1. Benenden: The History of The Benenden Healthcare Society 1905-2005, Bill McPate, 2006, William Sessions Limited, York.
  2. Caring for Generations: The Benenden Story 1905-2005, Sarah Smelik, 2005, Leeds Press Ltd, Leeds.
  3. Post Office & Civil Service Sanatorium Society: A History 1905-1980, Kingfisher-Kent, Tunbridge Wells.

External linksEdit