Regular “health MOTs” should be offered to all Bucks residents in a bid to reduce the strain on the NHS, according to a politician.
Yesterday Morning Bucks County Council’s (BCC) health and adult social care select committee were updated on plans to integrate the two services.
Wycombe district councillor, Tony Green, asked why healthcare is more of a “firefighting” service that diagnoses and treats illnesses, rather than focusing on prevention.
He added the NHS could save money if more work was carried out to prevent certain illnesses.
Cllr Green said: “The dental service does preventative treatment. You go every six months and they check you out and see if they have anything that’s developing into an issue.
“At the doctors it’s the other way around, it’s a reactive service. You only go to the doctor if you feel unwell basically. That seems to be the wrong way around.
“Doctors have skills that can, with some blood tests and various other tests available, identify issues, and if found early can stop it developing into expensive treatment plans?
“Why doesn’t the NHS do that? Why can’t we have an annual MOT, or every five years?”
However chief officer at Bucks Clinical Commissioning Group, Louise Patten, said health checks are usually directed and people who are at risk of developing conditions.
She added the NHS is rarely given additional funding to work towards preventing illnesses.
She said: “There is a growing awareness that we need to get into the prevention stream.
“Often we are not given additional funding to run the preventing bit, to stop people from coming in.
“We need to grow our opportunity make sure when clinicians are looking the patients, or doing a flu jab, that they are having conversations about their health.”