Thanks but no thanks

I was surprised to receive an invitation for the standard NHS health check as it is only a few years since I ended up with one when I went for a cervical smear screening a couple of years ago - which I neither needed nor wanted but 'went along with' and now regret.

The practice nurse took 'more than just at Christmas' as a confession of an unhealthy level of alcohol use (I have one drink a fortnight - a bottle of beer or a small glass of wine) I discovered later that she had entered 'patient refused to discuss weight reduction diet' in my records which is a flat out lie. She took no notice of my health condition and I also told her about some other symptoms I had had and she took no notice of those... which meant I delayed seeing the GP for another month with potential signs of cancer (fortunately not but it was an urgent referral to hospital) She was disturbingly incredulous that I had come through the menopause without HRT.

I'm now a healthy BMI, my alcohol use has not increased, I do as much exercise as I can given my health condition (and achieve close to government guidelines), my diet has not changed for the worse, I monitor my own BP at home and it is fine.

Which would leave blood sugar testing and cholesterol testing. There's no information in the leaflet which gives enough information for this to be done with informed consent (the results have consequences otherwise there's no point doing it) The letter says the appointment would be with a health care assistant. This is therefore not a health professional.

6 Replies

  • Dear GoogleMe

    You mention that the leaflet doesn't give enough information about the tests, so I have suggested some links below which you may find informative:

    What happens at an NHS Health Check

    The science behind the NHS Health Check tests

    NHS Health Check: frequently asked questions

    Yours sincerely,

    Victoria Hunt

    NHS Choices

  • Hi,

    There is a problem as described, the GP information and HA information at times is not very clear, There's no information in the leaflet which gives enough information for this to be done with informed consent (the results have consequences otherwise there's no point doing it) necessary training required I am afraid!

    Because of my research and medical people in my family I can ask questions. Link to access information to read is fine. Related information should be available at GP practice to help with Q&A. Imagine if you do not have a computer and access to Internet then what?

  • No numbers given for the rate of false positives (there's good evidence that words ('small' 'high' 'rare' are interpreted very variably (even by health professionals) so numbers, ideally natural numbers, communicate more effectively, so why are they not used?)

  • The leaflet and links have no facts. No details on accuracy, confidence levels, true risk. They always talk about 'high' risk. No explanation how this compares to other risks in life. The Health Care Assessistants or other people doing the Health Check are no help. They follow a tick box approach. They cannot answer any detailed questions - they just read out the script.

  • What you have written is very true. This applies to all activities in UK. This is computer technology. If there is no power to till in the shops can you get back the correct change?

    Health check has to do better than what they are doing, may be go back to the olden day version, every one had a better understanding! Nowadays, the blood test blood is collected at any time of the day and the simple results are sent by post. not many people can understand the results unless you have looked the medical information! Yes, tick box culture just like copy and paste culture. High risk, this is just paper work, if the system can get the grading of GPs wrong, what can the system get it right. Simple blood test in super market cost £10.00, for this £10.00 you get the blood test result you can understand and some good explanation. For more money if you go to Blue Crest package screening a full written report will be sent home.

    I am afraid NHS needs to spend money on education and training!

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