From next spring (2024) millions of adults will be eligible for a new NHS digital MOT. So how will it work and will it help reduce NHS waiting times?
According to recent reports, 15 million adults (aged 40-74) will be eligible for the MOT. It’s thought that patients will complete an online health questionnaire providing answers about their weight, height, fitness and lifestyle. They’ll also be required to do a home blood test using a special kit sent in the post and get a blood pressure reading, via a local pharmacist.
Test results will look for early signs of health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity, which if caught early on have a better chance of being managed or treated. This is the aim of an already existing NHS Health Check. However, currently this relies on face-to-face appointments to assess patients in person – and as expected, there is a huge backlog.
By evolving this into a digital home-based version, the government hopes to save the NHS 20 minutes for every test done. But is it enough?
ZoomDoc’s Chief Medical Officer and GP, Dr Kenny Livingstone, says it’s a step in the right direction.
‘Anything that can help take pressure off the NHS and free up appointments for people who are really sick and need to see a doctor in person is definitely a good thing. There are lots of simple health tests we can do ourselves if required, so hopefully patients will be on board and get used to a new way of getting checked out,’ he says.
‘That’s why we’ve made a whole host of health checks available for people to do themselves at home, saving them a trip to the doctor’s, albeit for a small yet affordable charge,’ he adds.
So if you’ve got any health niggles or just want to get something checked out sooner rather than later, here’s just some of what’s available to you, right now.
Blood pressure monitoring
The NHS estimates that in England, there are over 8 million people diagnosed with high blood pressure, therefore at an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
However, home blood pressure monitoring can be an effective way to incentivise patients, by letting them monitor it regularly themselves, without seeing a doctor, especially if they start to notice an improvement.
But did you know about this service? Currently it’s possible to use blood pressure monitors for free at your local GP practice, local pharmacy and sometimes at supermarkets and opticians, too.
If you want to keep tabs on yours at home, the NHS advises low-cost monitors are available to buy, but says make sure the one you choose is approved for use in the UK.
It says, ‘to make sure your monitor is accurate, choose one that has been listed as validated for accuracy by the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS). There are a number of places you can purchase a blood pressure monitor including the British Heart Foundation online shop.’
Keeping an eye on your cholesterol, or worried about yours and can’t get to a doctor easily? Order an at-home cholesterol check today and we’ll send out a finger prick blood test kit that can analyse all 5 key components of your cholesterol.
Concerned you may have coeliacs due to symptoms or a family history? Test yourself at home with this quick and easy finger prick test kit.
If your immune system isn’t where you want it to be and you have a healthy lifestyle, it can be worth checking if your vitamin levels, such as vitamin D or B12, are where they should be.
Recent statistics show a rise in sexually transmitted infections, in particular syphilis and gonorrhoea. If you suspect you have an STI, tests are available from your GP or local sexual health clinic.
But, you can also order and test from the comfort of your home via ZoomDoc, which offers 3 to choose from:
Chlamydia and gonorrhoea (£39) – this uses a simple urine test to check for these two sexually-transmitted infections.
Routine STD test (£130) – this uses a finger prick blood test and urine test to check for 7 common sexually-transmitted infections, including both gonorrhoea and syphilis.
Complete STD test (£195) – also uses a finger prick blood test to detect 11 separate sexually-transmitted infections, including gonorrhoea, syphilis and herpes, amongst others.
If you suspect your thyroid is overactive or underactive, a simple home blood test can analyse key biomarkers.
In total, ZoomDoc offers 20 health, wellness and sexual health-related tests that can be ordered online and delivered and carried out at home. If you are experiencing pain, unusual symptoms, such as dizziness, fever, lumps or rashes, always see your GP. These tests should be followed up with a GP appointment to discuss managing or treating any condition detected.