NHS MOT health checks are useless

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The Government’s £300 million-a-year screening programme does not benefit patients and in fact puts them at risk of unnecessary treatment, worldwide trials involving 180,000 people showed.

NHS MOT health checks are useless

The checks – adopted by the NHS in 2009 and intended to move the service toward preventative medicine – is likely to lead to patients taking unnecessary medication and is in “direct conflict” with the best evidence available, researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre claim.

They have questioned the validity of the so called “MOT testing” in the past and findings from the same centre led to an NHS review of routine breast screening which concluded for every life saved four women undergo unnecessary surgery.

Under the scheme, those aged between 40 and 74 are invited to their GP once every five years to have their blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels checked, before being given tailored lifestyle advice.

It means two million checks should be carried out annually in England and Wales, but figures show that only 1.3 million underwent the tests over the last year.

care-home-dentist, GPs now do health checks on a daily basis, Dr Gerada said, and although they are being sold as “like going for an MOT” where doctors are able to diagnose the problem, doctors can’t actually find out what is wrong. “You always find something that you can’t explain and then you do more tests,” she said. “We’re constantly having to explain to patients that actually there’s nothing wrong.” Public Health England recognises that the effectiveness of the scheme has been questioned, but maintained that the “precautionary principle” to risk factors for disease justifies the tests. They say the tests offer a “real opportunity to reduce avoidable deaths and disability, and tackle health inequalities in England.”GPs now do health checks on a daily basis, Dr Gerada said, and although they are being sold as “like going for an MOT” where doctors are able to diagnose the problem, doctors can’t actually find out what is wrong.

“You always find something that you can’t explain and then you do more tests,” she said. “We’re constantly having to explain to patients that actually there’s nothing wrong.”

Public Health England recognises that the effectiveness of the scheme has been questioned, but maintained that the “precautionary principle” to risk factors for disease justifies the tests. They say the tests offer a “real opportunity to reduce avoidable deaths and disability, and tackle health inequalities in England.”

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