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Do you go for GP check-ups (if there's nothing that feels wrong)?

48 replies

HangingOver · 06/06/2023 09:38

I was raised in a family where you only go to the GP if something is hurting or bleeding or fallen off etc.

I was just watch a video of a woman in America who found out she was quite ill after a going to a routine drs check-up and she didn't feel unwell at all.

Is this an American thing or do people go to GP appointment just for check-ups? If so, what happens at one? Do they take bloods etc. or just talk to you? Or would NHS staff look at your like you were mad if you walked into the docs and said you felt fine? Sorry if this is a stupid question, it's never occurred to me before.

OP posts:
Astromelia · 06/06/2023 09:41

It’s an American thing, and there no evidence that it leads to better health for the population overall.

In the UK GPs will invite targeted groups in for checkups eg people of a certain age, people with diabetes, people with learning disabilities. They check their BP and cholesterol and give advice on diet and exercise, that kind of thing.

PinkDaffodil2 · 06/06/2023 09:44

Good luck getting an NHS GP appointment if you feel fine - outside of national screening programs, one off health check once over 40. There’s no convincing evidence base for other checks when people feel well I think.
Private providers I’m sure would be happy to see people and check bloods, BP etc.

YorkieTheRabbit · 06/06/2023 09:58

No, to be honest, I’ve not been to any health checks when invited. The last was in March and the previous was July.

TeeBee · 06/06/2023 10:03

Ha! We can't get an appointment when ill, let alone when not ill.

pizzaHeart · 06/06/2023 10:05

TeeBee · 06/06/2023 10:03

Ha! We can't get an appointment when ill, let alone when not ill.

The same situation here.
I’m surprised that you’ve asked OP. Of course it’s good and many people would love to get one.

Pixiedust1234 · 06/06/2023 10:06

I cant get a GP appointment even when ill.

America have a different healthcare system where they pay for it directly or from insurance. Its not comparable.

TheChosenTwo · 06/06/2023 10:07

Same as @TeeBee - hard enough getting one when you really need it and are presenting with worrying symptoms! Saying that, our surgery has an option for booking routine appointments up to 6 weeks in advance, I don’t know because I’ve never used it but I suppose if you had a specific request for a blood test for x because you were concerned they might make the appointment for you, but I don’t think there’s a standard ‘check up’, if there is I certainly haven’t had one.

Hbh17 · 06/06/2023 10:08

Dear Lord, no. What an utter waste of both a GP's and my time. There needs to be less fussing about our health, not more! 😂

SugarCraving · 06/06/2023 10:08

It's ironic when you request your GP for tests. Then you are told this test was done last year and was fine.
A few months later they post a letter requesting that you have the same routine blood rests!

Bullshot · 06/06/2023 10:09

No - only the ones offered - such as over 40 check up, DH was invited when he got to 56- which is a random age.

I have family in the USA and yes, annual gynae check up - for women. Kids get an annual check up . This is all likely to be because it's private and via health insurance. The docs will get paid for this. No chance of that here in UK :)

aintnospringchicken · 06/06/2023 10:18

TeeBee · 06/06/2023 10:03

Ha! We can't get an appointment when ill, let alone when not ill.

Exactly this !!

Willmafrockfit · 06/06/2023 10:19

you might be offered a nurse MOT at a certain age,
i havent been

Willmafrockfit · 06/06/2023 10:20

at a certain age you are requested a mammogram/stool sample
can't think what else

Willmafrockfit · 06/06/2023 10:20

oh smear

LadyLapsang · 06/06/2023 10:53

I think it depends on your family history, health, weight etc. For example if one of your parents had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 60, you are obese, you smoke, you have high blood pressure, I would expect you to be engaged in making changes and being monitored.

However if your relatives are healthy, you are a healthy weight, you don’t smoke, you get your blood pressure checked and it is healthy, you go for your smears, breast checks and if you are older you know your cholesterol rate and it is healthy, then maybe check things on a regular basis.

I have a basic kit at home with a digital thermometer, high quality blood pressure monitor, and oximeter. This means when we call the GP, we can provide the relevant data.

You can go to any of the major private providers such as Bupa for a full health screen but they are expensive.

LadyLapsang · 06/06/2023 10:58

To add, if you are in the UK, you can go on the NHS website and look under Heath checks for more details on the offer.

shivawn · 06/06/2023 11:08

I do, I'm very rarely sick so I don't have any other reason to go to the GP but I like to get my bloods checked at least every 18 months or so. I think it's important, I pester my husband to do the same.

I don't live in the UK so I pay for the GP appointment but I'm happy doing that when I can always get a next day appointment and I don't need to justify my reasons for going to anyone. We have free GP care for our children and I find I'm more hesitant to bring them for small things because I'm not paying and I don't like wasting their time unless it's something significant.

Heatherjayne1972 · 06/06/2023 11:13

Surely it would be cost effective long term to get everyone 40/50+ in for routine checked every few years
bp /cholesterol / breast checks / smear tests etc etc etc
especially if there’s family history of strokes heart attacks diabetes

silly really just hoping things get picked up accidentally

Willmafrockfit · 06/06/2023 11:17

my asthma check picked up my bp
so now i have a bp check
at least a bp monitor

eurochick · 06/06/2023 11:19

There is very little general preventative medicine in this country. Just a few schemes targeted at particular ailments, eg smears and mammograms. Some areas offer over 40 and 50 checks but it seems pretty hit and miss.

You can pay for a private medical. My last workplace used to fund an annual one for senior people. It included blood tests, ecg, blood pressure, height and weight, posture, smear. It cost about £350.

HerbsandSpices · 06/06/2023 11:22

It's very personal but I go private for annual blood tests and other tests I may want along the way. If there was anything not right with those, I'd take them to a GP. I just go to the GP if I have actual cause to. I take my own blood pressure and would go see a GP if I was concerned about that. Other than that, I tend to participate in routine screenings.

DemonicCaveMaggot · 06/06/2023 11:25

I am on medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol and am nearly 60 so get called in to see the practice nurse at my GP's. I think the last time I saw her was 18 months previously. She took blood and urine, checked my weight, height, and blood pressure, temperature, pulse rate. I am trying to lose weight and had plateaued so she referred me to a 'wellbeing coach' who managed to identify a lot of stuff I was doing wrong in two sessions. That helped tremendously and now I am losing weight without feeling I am on a diet as she recalibrated how and why I eat. It was more about a permanent change to how I eat rather than a temporary diet.

I lived in the states and my insurance paid for an annual physical which was pretty much what the practice nurse did here.

DemonicCaveMaggot · 06/06/2023 11:26

To add to my previous post, I didn't ask to see the nurse, they called me so it must either be my age, my medical history, or a combination of both.

GiantHog · 06/06/2023 11:30

I have been ill for a while, cannot get an apt

goldentoes · 06/06/2023 11:31

Not possible in my area. It's extremely difficult getting an appointment for when you're on deaths door here let alone in good health!!

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