Why have a health assessment?
Having a health assessment provides you with a better understanding of your own health. It helps you to identify possible future health risks and could show the early warning signs of illness. This enables you to take the necessary steps for prevention.
There are many health screening centres across the UK. Wherever you live, you should have access to an assessment centre without travelling too far.
What happens in a health assessment?
Health assessments usually begin with a medical history and lifestyle questionnaire. You will spend time with a GP or nurse for a consultation and physical examination. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have at the appointment.
The cost of health screening is very much dependent on the level of assessment that you choose. Prices range from £130 to £700; you can therefore choose screening that fits within your own budget.
Can you get a discount on a health assessment?
Some private medical insurance providers offer discounts for health assessments for their members. One of the major healthcare insurers in the UK has a wellbeing & lifestyle policy. This allows its customers a 50% discount for health screening, providing their customers with major savings.
There are general health assessments, male or female orientated, or specific concern assessments i.e. coronary or colon health checks. In fact, there are many options available. Some of the smaller checks are offered as an add-on to the general screening plans.
Depending on the screening option you take, you may be required to fast prior to attending. Blood tests and urine samples may also be taken on the day. It is important you follow the appointment guidelines you are given prior to attending.
Your results will often be given to you on the day. Some tests do, however, have to be sent to laboratories. The results of these will be back with you within two weeks of your appointment.
A good example of health screening is from BUPA. They offer Health Peak which is their most comprehensive health assessment and can be taken at BUPA Centres nationwide.
*BUPA confirm this Health Assessment is:
“A core set of tests aimed at identifying key health risks, directing you towards a healthier lifestyle through access to Bupa Boost and lifestyle support after the assessment. It also includes male or female health checks, an advanced fitness test and a consultation with a Bupa doctor for up to 60 minutes”.
*Source, BUPA.co.uk website (February 2016)
This health check is available for people between the ages of 18 and 70 and takes a total of 2 hours 30 minutes to complete.
Essentially the main reason for having a health Assessment is to give you peace of mind. You may not feel ill, but you may be worried about certain health issues. Having time to talk this through with a doctor may put your mind at rest.
*Taking different forms of cancer as an example:
- If diagnosed at its earliest stage, more than 8 in 10 people with bladder cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 1 in 10 people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
- Diagnosed at its earliest stage, around all women with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 3 in 20 women when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
- When diagnosed at its earliest stage, more than a third of people with lung cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 of people when diagnosed at a later stage.
*Source: Cancer Research UK (February 2016)
The benefits of diagnosing conditions at the earliest possible stage and getting prompt treatment can give you the best possible chance of survival. A health assessment can be one of the best ways to monitor your own personal health.