Men's Health Week
Shaun Martland

Men’s Health Week aims to raise awareness of the health challenges men face, including early detection of conditions and steps they can take to reduce their risk of developing something more serious. Compared to women, men are significantly less likely to report health needs, leaving them until they become more problematic. With this in mind, we want to raise awareness of Bupa’s health assessments and how men can use these to make sure they’re getting all their health concerns looked at.

We spoke with Shaun Martland, Audit and Operational Support Adviser in Bupa Health Clinics, to gain insight into the support we offer at Bupa. Shaun’s role is to help facilitate over 50 staff across six teams to arrange various Health Assessments, Physiotherapy and Primary Care appointments. This involves training, quality assurance, liaising with both internal and external stakeholders, and improving processes when needed. It’s a rewarding role in a constantly changing environment, where Shaun’s specialist knowledge is valued, and changes are made based on his recommendation. 

What do our health clinics offer? 

Our Health Clinics promote the Bupa ethos of helping people live longer, healthier and happier lives and making a better world. Both the dedicated Primary Care Team and Webchat-based Team are in place to assist with queries and bookings linked to our ever-increasing range of clinical products.  

We offer both face-to-face and remote GP appointments in 15, 30, 45, and 60-minute time slots to allow patients time to discuss their needs without feeling rushed. Our Health Advisors also offer appointments where they endeavour to find a convenient, short-notice appointment for patients to help resolve a concern quickly or get the ball rolling on further investigation and treatment for more complex areas.  

Our health assessments consist of a series of medical checks for monitoring and screening purposes that offer patients insight into the current state of their health and wellbeing. We have a range of assessments, from the 1-hour Be.Motivated to the 3-hour Be.Ahead with additional scans available. Positive lifestyle changes are usually recommended based on the results of the health assessment and further actions in the form of GP or secondary care referrals can be taken if necessary. 

What male specific tests are available?  

When booking a health assessment, we want to make sure they are personalised to the individual’s needs, and these include specific tests based on a person’s sex at birth. We’ve recently launched our targeted cancer screenings where customers can book to have the screenings, making them accessible for everyone. For men, we look at PSA (prostate specific antigen) tests which is particularly important for men over the age of 50 to have, as raised PSA levels in older men can be an indicator of prostate cancer. We also include physical examinations of the prostate and testicles to check for any signs of cancer, we’ll also show men how to self-check their testicles and to spot any changes.  

In our health assessments, there's a real focus on evaluating and improving mental health amongst our patients as this is often neglected when investigating someone’s physical health, especially in older men. Each of the assessment offerings includes access to the Bupa Be.Me app, our health and wellbeing app that offers assistance with lifestyle changes and goal setting. The app also grants access to Silvercloud which is a collection of online mental wellbeing programs, where users can seek support with areas such as sleeping patterns and conditions like anxiety. These wellbeing programs offer flexibility in the way that they can work around a user’s schedule. 

What’s coming next? 

Our product range is always growing and we’re about to start offering a Men’s Sexual Function plan. Structured in a similar way to our Menopause and Period Plans, the Men’s Sexual Function Plan will include the following:   

  • An Initial 30-minute appointment with a Bupa GP with tests for diabetes, cholesterol, testosterone, and more.  
  • A 15-minute follow-up appointment in the 12 months following the initial appointment. 
  • Access to the 24/7 anytime Healthline. 
  • Action plans in the form of prescriptions, further diagnosis, and onward referrals when required. 

Erectile dysfunction affects 48% of men in the UK, loss of libido affects 20%, and 20-30% are affected by premature ejaculation. These can have a deep effect on mental health and relationships, so the plan is in place to help with these key areas of men’s health.  

Our health initiatives are on-going and we are always looking for new ways to engage and educate around men’s health. We also proudly support our male colleagues through the work of our Be you at Bupa and Men’s Wellbeing Network which is open to all, helping promote healthy living and support to our male colleagues and allies. We want all men to know that they’re not alone. Remember to make your clinical appointments and feel the support you deserve by attending.  

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