How much does a full health check cost?
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
So you've been looking into health checks, and trying to find out more? Maybe you are feeling a bit under the weather, and feel you would benefit from a bit of a body "MOT"? Or perhaps you are concerned about your health due to your lifestyle and habits (such as smoking, drinking and diet)? There may be a hereditary illness that you are concerned about based on family history, and you are looking for a bit of a broad check-up, to make sure your health is on track. For whatever reason, you have landed here, so maybe you're looking to take the next step and work out how much it is going to cost you to have a full health check. In this article, I will discuss all of your options, discuss whether or not you're entitled to a free NHS health check, and what you can do to be proactive about your healthcare, to reduce the risk of serious illness or disease.
What is a health check?
A health check is a set of examinations and tests to provide you with an overview of your current health. Whether you have a health concern you would like to be checked out, or you would like support in order to improve your health, it is a good idea to have a health check around once per year. Whilst most healthcare companies provide health checks or assessments carried out by a health adviser or nurse, at Vaila all of our health checks are provided by a fully-licensed GP. This means that we can tailor your health check to your concerns and goals, and any questions that you have concerning your medical health can be addressed during that appointment if time allows.
Why do I need a health check?
Having a health check is a great way to be proactive about your health, and can be really invaluable in guiding you to make the best decisions about you and your family's health. A health check can provide comfort to knowing you are on the right track with your health, help diagnose a health concern you have had for a while or even check for any hereditary illnesses you have concerns about. The best thing about a health check is that you can identify any early warning signs of disease or illness, and have treatment at a stage where there is the best chance of success.
The scale of undetected illnesses and conditions is huge in the UK. The British Heart Foundation estimates that around 7 million people in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure. This increases the risk of those people having a heart attack or stroke. Being aware of the fact that you have high blood pressure means that you can take active steps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore prevent a serious heart attack or stroke from occurring.
The most important factor is that you should make your own choice about what you want to have checked out. If you have new or worrying symptoms, a family history of a particular condition or health concern or you are just feeling under the weather and can't work out why you should definitely take the time to see a healthcare professional. It is your choice whether you choose to have a GP appointment, or if you would like a full health check.
Where can I have a health check?
When choosing where you would like to have your health check, there are a number of options available to you. There are many private GP services offering varying health checks in Scotland, and it may also be possible for you to have a health check at your NHS GP. However, different surgeries will offer different services. Some health checks are more surrounding lifestyle advice and will use data like your age, diet and exercise regimen to determine your health result, rather than conducting medical tests. These tests can be fantastic if you are feeling fine but are concerned about your lifestyle choices, but not so great if you have symptoms you need to get to the bottom of.
In Scotland, there are a number of private health check providers, including BUPA, Westfield Health and The Edinburgh Clinic. At Vaila Health we also provide a range of health checks, but we will mention those later.
Can I have a health check for free?
In addition to the private providers, the NHS may also be able to offer you a free health check. An NHS health check is only available in certain locations, and the check is for people with specific criteria living with various pre-existing medical conditions. If you are included within these criteria, you may receive a letter saying you are eligible for the checks. Otherwise, the NHS does not offer free health checks to their patients. However, some NHS GP surgeries will offer some more generalised tests and checks if you are feeling under the weather. Although this is not a formalised health check, and will not cover a lot of the things that a private health check will cover, it may be a good option for you if you do not feel you need a full health check. If you're feeling poorly and would like a particular thing tested for, it might be more cost-effective for you to ask your NHS GP if this can be done for you.
If not, how much does a full health check cost?
The cost of your health check really depends on the type of health check you have chosen and the provider you have decided to go with. BUPA charge anything from £190-£880, depending on the type of service you would like. They also charge additional costs of up to £880 for additional specialist tests such as colon health or advanced fitness tests. However, if you have medical insurance or BUPA cover either personally, through your insurance or through an employee benefits scheme, you may be able to have some or all of the cost of the health check covered for you. The good thing about a BUPA health check is that they often take blood using a finger prick process rather than a full sample, so this could be handy if you are apprehensive about blood tests. They also offer a consultation with a doctor after the health check is undertaken, but their health checks are usually carried out by a nurse or trained professional, rather than a fully-qualified GP. The consultation with the doctor afterwards could cost you extra, so it is worth double-checking this before you go in.
Nuffield Health offers a 360 health assessment for £574 and it includes a range of tests including your hydration levels, your BMI and your blood pressure. This is a very in-depth examination, and you will need to fill out a thorough questionnaire before your appointment. The Edinburgh Clinic also offers a very thorough examination with prices from £345-£1,095 including various screenings and scans. The clinic offers onward referrals where required, and you can also choose to have an MRI scan. This is a good option for someone if they are specifically concerned about cancer or a disease or injury.
At Vaila Health, we offer three simple health checks which with clear pricing. You can choose to tailor your health check if you have a specific concern, which may save you money if you do not want to have additional elements included in the checks. The best thing about our health checks is that they are all carried out by a fully-qualified GP. This means that during your 20-minute follow-up consultation, your doctor will have all the facts first-hand and you will be able to discuss your results in-depth with the person that carried out your checks for you. We have three health check options which I will go into more detail and include pricing below.
Core Health Check - £295
Our Core Health Check costs £295 and includes a full medical history and medication review. The doctor will also discuss your lifestyle with you, as this may hold relevance to some of the test results. The doctor will take your height, weight and conduct BMI checks. In addition, we run the following tests:
Examination of the heart, lungs, abdomen and lymph nodes.
Urinalysis to assess kidney and bladder health.
Cardiovascular risk assessment.
Blood pressure check.
Bloods: anaemia screen (iron levels), immune cell levels, kidney function, liver function, diabetes screen, cholesterol check, lipid profile and thyroid function.
Well Woman Health Check - £450
Our Well Woman Health Check includes all the elements of our Core Health Check but includes additional tests tailored to women's health including a bowel cancer screening, breast examination and pelvic examination (optional), a calcium and vitamin D test, a Cal125 ovarian cancer screen and an osteoporosis risk assessment.
Well Man Health Check - £450
Our Well Man Health Check includes all the elements of our Core Health Check but includes additional tests tailored to men's health including bowel cancer screening, prostate examination (optional), PSA prostate blood test, calcium and vitamin D test and an osteoporosis risk assessment.
If there is a specific concern you are looking to have addressed, more specialised tests can be worked into each of these health checks and provided for you. Your Vaila GP will discuss all of this with you during your health check, and all our checks include a 20-minute follow up consultation with the GP to review your results, discuss findings and talk about any further treatment you may need. We can provide onwards referrals or prescriptions, and further tests may be advised such as lung function tests or chest X-rays. Although additional tests may incur a further fee, your GP would discuss the pricing with you and can also provide alternatives where necessary. If you are interested in booking a health check with us, please follow this link and choose your location: https://www.vailahealth.co.uk/clinic-locations
The cost of having a health check can vary. Different private healthcare companies can charge varying prices and offer different tests in their health check options, with prices from £100 to over £1,000. The main thing is that you are aware of what can be offered to you, and what tests you are actually looking for. The best thing to do is have an idea as to which type of health check you would like, and then research the best option for you. If you have a specific issue that you would like to be addressed, you may be able to have this seen to by an NHS GP for free, or you can visit a private GP and have that specific test conducted for much less than a health check. However, if you feel like you would benefit from a general once-over or full-body "MOT", a health check may be the perfect solution for you.
Prices can always vary from clinic to clinic, and this can be for a variety of reasons, including price increases for specific tests or supplier costs. However, your GP should be able to be up-front with you for what standard tests you are having and how much a health check will cost overall, and will discuss with you if any additional tests are required. They will also tell you what those tests are for, and how much they will cost, leaving you with the comfort to decide if you would like to move forward with them or not.
If you have any questions about anything at all or the health checks that we offer, why not pop us a message?
St Andrews | Perth | Dundee
0333 577 5999 | firstname.lastname@example.org