Health risk for adults who miss mid-life MOT

Warning of impending health crisis if people fail to have health checks.

Warning of impending health crisis if people fail to have health checks. - Credit: Archant

Adults in North Somerset are putting their health at risk by turning down free medical checks, according to Healthwatch North Somerset.

The independent watchdog is warning of a further stretch on health services if people continue to neglect the health MOT which can provide early indicators of serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Healthwatch surveyed 659 people across the district and found 68 per cent of 40-74-year-olds had not taken advantage of the check-up.

Eileen Jacques, chief officer of Healthwatch North Somerset, has warned ignoring the offer to discover health issues at an early stage could impact the NHS in the near future.

She said: “I’d strongly urge people to take advantage of the NHS Health Check. It gives people the opportunity to speak with their GP and receive valuable advice for free in order to transform their lifestyle with a personalised well-being plan.

“More importantly, it can also dramatically prolong someone’s life by identifying serious health issues that may have previously gone unnoticed. Failing to take the free check-up now may mean failing to identify a condition that can be getting progressively worse.

“Unfortunately, this will usually mean relying on accident and emergency services that are already overloaded in addition to outpatient (wards) and social care provisions, which wouldn’t have been needed if it had been discovered early.”

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All 40-74-year-olds without a pre-existing condition are entitled to a free midlife MOT which measures circulation and provides an early warning for a range of conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes,

The survey, which also asked people for their opinions on their GP surgery, revealed 89 per cent of respondents were pleased with the service they received from their practice, although 29 per cent admitted they were too scared to complain for fear of repercussions.

Philip Kirby, chief executive of Avon Local Medical Committee, said: “All North Somerset surgeries are proud of the role of GPs for being responsible for overall patient care.

“Practices’ complaints procedures include always being happy to listen and they always encourage patients to feedback about their services because this is how they learn and improve.”

Healthwatch North Somerset can guide people through the complaints process. Find out more at