Summer holidays are a great time for reflection and review, it’s often an opportunity to make resolutions and focus a bit on health and quality of life. We often come back from our summer holidays determined to take more exercise, to eat a better diet and perhaps lose those extra pounds we have put on during the holiday period. Many of us worry about our health and sometimes have niggling fears that there are things we should be doing to look after ourselves. We might be worried about family history, we are frightened when a colleague or loved one has a sudden illness and we find it increasingly difficult to have time with our own family doctors rushed off their feet and able to only give us a few minutes of their time.
Let us liken health checks to pension planning. Your pension adviser will assess your current financial condition, look ahead to assess what liabilities you might encounter, and advise you of how to make the best of what you have. So too with your health. We will examine you to assess current status, we can evaluate what medical conditions you are more likely to develop given your previous history, lifestyle and family history. We can then advise what steps you should take to avoid or at least minimise the health hazards that lay ahead.
Here at The Harrow Health Care Centre we provide top to toe medical executive screenings. We start by asking you to complete a questionnaire, you will then have an hour with our nurse who will measure all the usual things, a full panel of bloods are taken, urine testing, ECG and vitalograph (that is for lung function), hearing and vision are also evaluated. Following your time with the nurse you will have 45 minutes with the doctor who will conduct a full medical examination and work through the questionnaire with you. There is a report within 10 working days which we will also send to your GP. We will offer you screening tests as appropriate, and help you decide what tests are suitable for you, (many so called screening tests do not improve patient health)
In the UK heart disease is the commonest cause of death and half of us will die from a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease has many contributing factors including blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol levels, family history and exercise and is more common in people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes. We will calculate your personal risk score to determine your likelihood of developing heart disease and to help see where interventions would reduce your risk. Bowel cancer affects roughly one in twenty of us in our lifetime and rises to more than one in ten if you have a parent or sibling with the disease. Bowel cancer arises from a preexisting polyp in the bowel which is detectable several years before it becomes cancerous, and there are screening tests that can help detect and remove them at an early stage. For women we will offer cervical screening, and we will also discuss the relative merits of mammographic screening in those women over 50 eligible for the NHS screening programme. Some patients, particularly Asian ladies, may consider bone density assessment and vitamin D testing, and men over 70 should also consider having ultrasound for aortic aneurysm.
Life style aspects will also be discussed. There is a great deal of misinformation and false news in respect to diet, almost every day there is a new warning about avoiding certain foods and the information we are bombarded with in the headlines about alcohol and its benefits or disadvantages is conflicting and confusing. The role of exercise too is extremely important, and many of us struggle to find time in our busy lives for exercise. Is it worth it? (Yes, it is, let’s find something that works for you!)
You can obtain almost any test you want now via the internet and many of the organisations promoting self-testing will alarm and frighten and feed your anxieties. We will help you identify what testing or screening tests might be sensible.
You will be reassured having spent a morning or afternoon with us. You will feel you have dealt with the issues that concern you and whilst (with a few exceptions) we cannot prevent you from developing most conditions , we can screen for some things appropriately and take steps and provide advice to help you reduce risk.
You may wish to consider health checks for your employees. We provide all forms of occupational health assessments, designed and led by our occupational health qualified doctors, some can be tailored to the requirements of your company and others can be generalised for a complete top to toe check-up. For 3 months we are offering a 10 per cent discount and would be happy to send further information to you as requested.
Finally, if you are travelling for work or pleasure, we run a comprehensive travel clinic here led by our very experienced travel health qualified nurses. We advise you and provide all travel vaccinations including Yellow Fever and whatever anti-malaria drugs are recommended according to destination.
We hope to hear from you soon to help you stay as healthy as you can.