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General Checkups in London vs New York

(11 Posts)
michelleryryan Tue 30-May-17 18:42:46

My husband and I recently relocated from New York to London with our 18 month old daughter. In the US, babies/toddlers have “well-child visit” checkups with their pediatricians at certain ages (9 months, 12, 15, 18, etc.). We have been told by our local NHS that this is not done here, and they only perform a 6 week check-up. We do have private insurance (Bupa) with his employer, however, we have been told that private insurance is only used on a recommendation for a specific issue (not just a general physical/well-child checkup). Is there any way we can have a checkup like this done for our daughter or does that simply not exist in England? Thank you so much for any insight. It is greatly appreciated!

Freetodowhatiwant Tue 30-May-17 18:52:06

I am not sure if this is done by area but we have had regular check ups for my two. Maybe not AS regular as yours but I do recall one at 12 months and also for my elder child when he was 2 which now seems to be a 30 month check rather than 2 years. Also when you have vaccinations they are given a check over and you can see a health visitor.

Otherwise there should be regular (weekly/fortnightly) opportunities to see a health visitor at a children's centre or your local doctors surgery but most people I know only do this until the child is about a year and not at all with their second one as they will check weight and have a chat with you about how it is all going. Other than that we seem to only go to the doctor's if there is something specific to worry about - i.e. an illness or concern about development.

I have to say the NHS have been brilliant regarding my two children. I have private health care too as a back up but have only recently used it once and that was for myself. It's there in case something serious happens I feel. But actually the NHS are amazing in a crisis too. I imagine, a bit skeptically, that kids (and I have heard about this for pregnant women too) are given so many check ups in the US as it's private health care and the insurance companies are earning a fortune from you. Unless you're concerned about something specific I don't think you will need them but like I said if you are worried about something specific there are health visitor clinics and also your GP to approach.

Smitff Tue 30-May-17 18:59:35

I live in NY. The well-child check-ups are really just to see that everything is in order and to give shots.

In the U.K., people go to the doctor when something is wrong. It's tax-payer funded. If you have any concerns about your DC, don't hold back from making an appointment with her GP and raising it. You also need to stay on top of vaccinations.

TBH, I've found medical intervention in this country far too intrusive. There's really no reason for doctors to do half the poking and prodding, checking up and referring that they do (well, other than money of course).

As a general rule just keep in mind that other people are paying for your DC's healthcare and you will understand how things happen in the uk. The NHS is amazing. Don't underestimate it.

KingIrving Tue 30-May-17 21:28:28

In France, Italy, Spain, the health system is equally tax-payer funded yet you have regular check-ups for your children up to late teenagers years.
Many things have been picked up during these check ups. And they are generally made by paediatricians .
When we moved here in Australia, no such thing existed so I just paid to have a check up done.

yikesanotherbooboo Tue 30-May-17 22:21:44

There used (1980s) to be more checks in the UK but they have gradually been reduced as not being a good use of time/ expertise.
Babies are examined by a doctor or sometimes a specially trained paediatric nurse soon after birth and at 6 or 8 weeks.
For the first 10-14 days after birth your midwife provides expertise.
They are seem on a couple of occasions by the health visitor who is looking to pick up maternal anxieties and developmental issues.
In infancy you can get the baby weighed and see a health a baby clinic usually weekly if you wish and if there are any concerns you can take them to your GP.
You can make an appointment to see your GP about any worries/health concerns that you have.they are very used to examining young children and if there is a concern the child can be referred on to a. Consultant paediatrician. The likelihood is that any important issue will be spotted by parents or by gP or other health professional seeing the child regularly and so screening appointments ( apart from those noted above) have been found to be redundant.

Movingin2017 Tue 30-May-17 22:25:42

There is a health visitor check at 2 years. I'm sure you could book privately though with a private GP or paediatrician if you felt it was essential. You can call direct to book private consultations with a paediatrician if they take private patients you don't need a referral just google or ask for recommendations, explain to the secretary what you want.

Loopytiles Tue 30-May-17 22:30:01

Very different cultures and service provision around health. Paediatricians rarely work in primary care in the UK: private services are available, probably £200+ Per appointment, excluding any tests.

Similarly, I understand US women see gynaecologists for check ups, whereas GPs do smears and contraception and that's about it unless you seek advice for a specific issue.

yikesanotherbooboo Tue 30-May-17 22:32:52

Yes that is true, many paediatricians don't do private work but in London you will easily find one to see your baby if you think it is necessary but you would have to pay yourselves as it is unlikely that insurance would cover it without a GP referral.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 30-May-17 22:37:05

You can book an appointment with a private paediatrician if you want a routine review, but your insurance won't cover it

Starstarbright599 Wed 31-May-17 01:01:12

See your health visitor for development checks at 12 months and 2 years and growth checks

Go to GP (for free) for any health concerns at any time

michelleryryan Wed 31-May-17 19:19:05

Thank you all for your responses! They're very helpful! smile

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