Warning over Private Health Screenings – Updated

Update: April 2016

In the past few days, Suffolk Trading Standards have received fresh reports that companies offering private health screening services are making a return to the county.

The information and advice issued on this blog in 2014 remains relevant and valid, so please read on for more detail.

In brief however:

  • Speak to your GP first if you have any health concerns.
  • Be aware that some or all of the services on offer are available for free via the NHS.
  • Check any paperwork thoroughly before parting with any money.
  • Ensure that you know exactly what you are agreeing to and, if in any doubt, walk away.

Original post:

Suffolk Trading Standards have received information regarding a number of Private Health Screening events taking place across the County.

Complaints from local residents have been received about companies marketing free health checks, which could cost them in excess of £100.

Letters have been received encouraging the recipient to attend a temporary clinic, usually a church hall or hotel, to undergo free screenings for stroke, with screenings also available for heart, lung, liver and kidney disease as well as dementia risks.

Complaints suggest that although “free” screenings are offered, the small print may mean that in return you are agreeing to a larger package of health checks, costing often in excess of £100.

Many of the services being offered by these companies are readily available on the NHS.  Trading Standards are particularly concerned for elderly and vulnerable people, who could make a costly and unnecessary mistake.

People with health concerns should to speak to their local GP, who can provide appropriate and unbiased advice about health screening.

Suffolk residents are being reminded that if they have signed-up to any contract for goods or services worth more than £35, including for healthcare checks, that the law gives them seven days to change their mind.

The distance selling regulations say that the trader should give you their name, address, product details, costs and cancellation rights. If they don’t, you may have even longer to cancel.

Anyone who is aware of a company offering false free health checks in their area should call Trading Standards on 08454 040506

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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