Post in association with Bupa
Is a Bupa health assessment really worth it?
That’s my short, honest, answer. Totally worth it.
Convinced? Excellent, off you go and book now. My work here is done.
If however you don’t yet trust me quite enough to put your health totally in my hands, read on and I will explain why I think a Bupa health assessment is great value for money and important for anyone who wants to stop taking their everyday health for granted and make positive changes in their life.
What is a Bupa health assessment?
There are a range of different Bupa health assessment options, but each one is designed to give you the opportunity to discover more about your current health, identify particular risk factors, and develop strategies to help you improve your long term lifestyle.
I went for a ‘Health Enhance‘ assessment at the Bupa centre in Bristol. My appointment was a two hour slot, which included time with a health advisor for blood tests, blood pressure, and lots of other key things like that, as well as a dedicated hour with a doctor to go through a physical exam and discuss any specific health concerns.
How often do you get to chat to a doctor for a WHOLE HOUR? That in itself is probably worth it if you have a lot of health worries. (I imagine my sister is reading this and thinking ‘hell yes, get me some of that.’)
But don’t you need private health insurance to use Bupa?
I know, I didn’t realise that either.
Anyone at all can book a Bupa health assessment and the two hour Health Enhance assessment includes includes an hour with a doctor.
You also get a lot more than just the initial session. We’ll get to this later.
What happens in a Bupa health assessment?
Okay, onto the juicy details.
First up I was asked to give a urine sample. Pretty dull you might think, but when I was done I had to leave it in a special box on the toilet wall, for it to be collected later. I felt like a SPY doing a handover of a top secret chemical formula.
I really appreciated the fact that they don’t expect you to have to look someone in the eye whilst holding your own pee.
I was then shown into a room by a very lovely health advisor called Leah, who took me through a series of tests and checks, including taking various bloods, weighing and measuring me, and taking my blood pressure. You might think that something like blood pressure is fairly standard, but Bupa use a dual arm method, and take it three times on each side. The benefit of testing blood pressure on both arms at once is that a significant difference between arms can be an early indicator of circulatory problems that may lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease, or other cardiovascular problems. It’s little things like this that give you confidence that you’re getting value for money.
The health advisor talks through all the results with you there and then, but you also get sent a full online report. It can be a lot of information to take in all at once, so it’s really useful to have all of this information to refer back to. Blood test and urine test results come back there and then, so you can talk about these too.
Generally, I’m looking in pretty good shape. My blood pressure is within a healthy range, and my cholesterol levels are good too:
While these numbers might be fine for now, it was still a good reminder for me that we shouldn’t take things like this for granted. I’m lucky that my everyday health is good, and I appreciate that. I also know it’s something I have to pay attention to if I want it to carry on that way.
The main area for me to work on, which I knew already, is weight and body fat. (I don’t think we need to see that charts for that…) It has crept on in the last couple of years, with age, stress and me eating too many Oreos, but this is something I recognise and am already doing something about. (I’ve lost six pounds in the last three weeks!)
What was a little bit shocking though, and definitely reinforced the need for change, was when we calculated my risk for certain diseases in the future. Take diabetes for example:
While my risk is still considered normal, you can see that it’s actually 3.4 times higher than you would expect from someone like me. This is all down to weight in my case, as the other risk factors are all normal. I think often when our health is generally good, we kind of assume that things like heart disease and diabetes are things that happen to ‘other people’. (A bit like me and pregnancy at 16…) It could happen to any of us though, and it’s by having things like regular check-ups that we can identify these potential risks and do our best to keep them low.
Throughout the report there are also interactive calculators, so you can come back to the report any time if you want to calculate things like your BMI, or how many calories you should ideally be consuming.
After all the main tests are done, you get your one on one doctor time. This is your opportunity to get more in depth with particular health issues you might have, or to ask about things like breast examinations. The doctor I spoke to did offer me a smear test too, but I assured her that I had had plenty of invasive cervical exams lately, and so I was all good on that front.
Basically though it’s your time, to talk about whatever worries you might have, so make the most of it!
What happens after a Bupa health assessment?
The Bupa health assessment definitely isn’t meant to be an ‘in and out and that’s it type’ of appointment. When you’re with your health advisor you’ll set personal, specific health and lifestyle goals, and you’re held accountable to these through follow up calls at six and twelve weeks from your dedicated lifestyle coach. These calls are your chance to discuss your progress and help you stay focused.
There’s the Bupa Boost app too, where you can log the goals you set with your health advisor, track your progress and stay motivated.
On top of all this, you have access for a WHOLE YEAR to the Bupa Anytime HealthLine – my sister is literally salivating at this point – where you can speak directly to a qualified nurse about anything health related. It’s 24/7 too so you can literally call at any time of day.
How do I book?
It’s very simple – you can book a Bupa health assessment online, just by choosing the kind of assessment you’d like and where and when you’d like to have it. You’ll be asked to fill out an online questionnaire before the day so that the doctor can think in advance about your particular health concerns.
If you want to stop taking your everyday health for granted and find out more about maintaining a health long term lifestyle then book your Bupa health assessment today.
It’s totally worth it.
Wow, it seems really thorough. I already know a lot of my areas that need working on though, but having that time with a doctor seems really good.
Slummers, think this is a great thing to do, but you haven’t mentioned the cost?
That’s because it caries depending on exactly what kind of package you have, so we felt like it might be confusing to give a price and then other packages have different prices. Some are general health assessments, but you can also book ones that look at specific areas – there is a lot of choice!
Having read the comments above yesterday I wanted to report that I had a BUPA Health Enhance check today, I completely agree with Jo’s comments above. The opportunity to discuss test results as well as your health and lifestyle in a timely manner with two health professionals (nurse and doctor) was really valuable. And I saved money on the cost by using their ‘late availability’ scheme. I booked my test last Thursday and had it today, the following Monday. A Google search will give you the url. Altogether a worthwhile investment in yourself and highly recommended. I gave mine to myself for Christmas!
Thanks for the feedback Ingrid – that’s really useful!
I had a full health assessment a few years back and it was definitely worth it. Looking after your own health is so important. Going to the GP is not the same these days, although most GP practices are trying their best. NHS is far from being okay. Doctors tend to look at symptoms and prescribe medication for it rather than get to the root cause of it. It’s good to keep a health check every few years . It also depends on affordability and depending on which assessment you are choosing. Even if it means saving up to have a thorough check done – it’s worth it. Jo, you explained it so well I couldn’t have worded it better myself. :)