Great Britain

Brits reveal they have avoided booking health appointments during the pandemic so they weren’t a burden, survey says

SIX in 10 Brits avoided booking health appointments during the pandemic as they didn’t want to be a burden - or catch Covid.

A study of 2,000 adults found that top worries during the pandemic included stress, backache and blood pressure – but millions kept their issues to themselves rather than seeking professional help.

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More than one in five (22 per cent) also missed or cancelled a routine health check-up and 39 per cent had them postponed by healthcare professionals. 

A third admitted they didn’t make an appointment as they thought the issue would get better over time, while four in 10 didn’t want to be a burden.

And almost half didn’t want to risk catching Covid-19. 

But as a result, a third of adults now want to have a full body ‘MOT’, as almost four in five want to feel as fit and healthy as possible when the restrictions are fully lifted so they can enjoy life to the full. 

Among the areas people would like to have checked over are their eyesight (21 per cent), mental health (21 per cent) and digestive system and gut (19 per cent). 

The study was commissioned by private healthcare provider, Pall Mall Medical, which is offering Brits a post-lockdown MOT to get them in tip top shape following restrictions lifting, with the assessment including a Full Blood Count, Heart PLAC Test, Diabetes Test, Lung CDT Test, and a Vitamins and Minerals Check. 

Medical Director for Pall Mall Medical, Dr. Chun Tang, said: “The research worryingly shows how many people have missed check ups and appointments during this time for everything from stress to cancer, so it’s no wonder a lot of people are worried about the state of their health. 

“With lots of health issues, particularly with cancer, early diagnosis is key, in order to provide treatment at the earliest possible stage - so it’s important not to miss any regular check-ups.”

The study found those who had appointments cancelled by professionals included cervical smear tests (23 per cent), prostate checks (19 per cent) and mammograms (17 per cent). 

Top health concerns Brits had during the pandemic

1.           Tiredness

2.           Stress    

3.           My weight          

4.           Back ache           

5.           Lack of exercise               

6.           Sight concerns e.g. tired eyes  

7.           Headaches         

8.           Neck ache          

9.           Blood pressure 

10.         My heart e.g. heart rate               

11.         Covid-19 symptoms       

12.         Hair loss              

13.         Cold/flu symptoms         

14.         Finding worrying moles 

15.         Discovering lumps 

And those who postponed their own check-ups missed cholesterol checks (37 per cent), important blood tests (37 per cent) and gynaecology appointments (26 per cent). 

But 82 percent of Brits who worked from home during the pandemic said this resulted in an increase in health concerns. 

Stress (30 per cent), weight (28 per cent) and tiredness (28 per cent) were areas they felt have heightened as a result of home working. 

However, tiredness (26 per cent) and stress (23 per cent) were also the top concerns people avoided getting checked out during the pandemic – along with headaches (20 per cent) and hair loss (12 per cent).

In a bid to keep their health in good condition over the past year, 35 per cent ate healthily, 18 per cent stretched daily and 34 per cent took vitamins. 

As part of its campaign to get Brits feeling great again, Pall Mall Medical teamed up with nutrition and fitness app, Jonple to offer 500 free annual subscriptions to their app when booking an Ultimate Health Screen with Pall Mall. 

Andrew Jones, CEO at Jonple, said: “The past year has been difficult for everyone, and with the challenges we’ve faced it’s now more important than ever to look after our health and fitness.

“At Jonple, we know that small changes like a healthier and more nutritional diet along with even a little exercise, can be the first step towards becoming a healthier, happier you.”

More than a quarter revealed they also feel more anxious about their health than ever before, with 23 per cent admitting the pandemic has made them want to get their general health checked over more often. 

But appointment chaos has led a fifth of those surveyed via OnePoll now being more likely to visit a private healthcare provider now compared to pre-pandemic. 

Dr. Chun Tang added: “Now, more than ever before, people are aware of how important keeping on top of their health really is. 

“Our Ultimate Health Screen focuses on providing patients with an innovative and detailed health assessment that combines their medical history, lifestyle factors and a physical examination with some of the most advance blood tests available.

“This means they can go away with peace of mind knowing what, if anything, needs to be done to address any issues.”

Find out how your post lockdown health is looking here.

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