Time poor workers using holidays to fix their health

14 August 2015
  • Nearly two-thirds  (64%) of working Londoners use annual leave to attend routine health appointments.
  • Over half (57%) confess they regularly cancel or re-schedule health appointments because of work commitments.
  • Research comes as Bupa UK opens the doors to its flagship £3 million 'superclinic' to support Canary Wharf's 100,000 plus working professionals.
Crossrail reception

At the peak of the summer holiday season a new Bupa UK study reveals how time-poor workers in the capital are using their holiday days to attend routine health appointments.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) admitted they regularly book a whole day’s holiday to attend a health appointment - such as with a GP, dentist or physiotherapist - because they are too busy to nip out during the working day. Furthermore a quarter (28%) revealed they have waited for at least four weeks before having time to book an appointment for a health issue.

The study was commissioned by Bupa UK to mark the opening of its new flagship ‘superclinic’ in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place. The 8,000 sq ft centre offers Canary Wharf’s residents and 100,000 plus working professionals a one-stop shop for everyday healthcare services. Which include dental, GP and physiotherapy appointments and health assessments. Opening hours are aimed to suit the needs of busy professionals, with centre appointments from 7am through to 8pm. With local residents in mind, the centre is also open all day on Saturday.

Commenting on the research findings, Lee Martin, Manager at Bupa’s new Centre in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place said:

“We know that people struggle to fit their health and wellbeing needs into their busy working lives. This means some aren’t addressing health issues promptly and others are having to use precious holiday time just to get a routine appointment. Alongside our jobs, it is crucial people don’t neglect their health as this may lead to time out of the office in the long run.”

“Our new clinic in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place, has been created specifically to meet the needs and pace of modern lifestyles. It provides a range of services, extended opening hours, excellent transport links, and is located amongst Canary Wharf’s 100,000 plus workers. This means it is perfectly placed to offer the capital’s busy professionals and commuters everyday health services at a time and place that suits them, so they can spend their annual leave relaxing.”

Even when booking health appointments, over half (57%) of Londoners confessed they regularly have to cancel or re-schedule because of work commitments and 59% admitted they’re typically too busy during the working day to attend. The most common reasons given were:

  • last-minute work deadlines (45%)
  • covering for other colleagues (37%)
  • being worried that taking time out of the office would reflect badly with colleagues or superiors (24%)


Other notable findings from the research were:

  • Over half (54%) of Londoners avoid booking health appointments even when they have a health issue because of struggling to get time out of the office.
  • Consequently, nearly half (44%) say that a health complaint has worsened because they have been unable to attend an appointment, resulting in them taking a sick day.
  • Nearly two-fifths (39%) of Londoners admitted being able to attend health appointments would increase their job satisfaction and over a third (38%) said it would boost their productivity.
  • Just over a third (34%) admitted that clinics with longer than normal opening hours were the biggest help when booking health appointments


Bupa’s new Health and Dental Centre is now open in Crossrail Place. Services include health assessments, GP appointments, dental, physiotherapy and sports physicians, and travel vaccinations. The modern purpose built centre provides the latest clinical equipment, with eight dental surgeries and 17 consultation rooms. It is open to everyone, regardless of whether they have private health insurance, and offers a range of convenient evening and weekend appointments. For further information please visit: /health/health-assessments/our-centres/canary-wharf-crossrail

Notes to editor

Bupa research carried out with OnePoll surveying 1,000 working Londoners (August 2015) about their experience of booking and attending health appointments during their working day and normal work hours.


About Bupa’s investment in everyday health services:

The £3 million Health and Dental Centre in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place is the latest in Bupa UK’s investment programme into providing health services that meet customers’ modern lifestyles and demands for high quality, affordable and convenient healthcare. Since the start of the year Bupa has invested £11.5 million expanding its health and dental centres across the UK.


About Bupa’s Health and Dental Centre in Canary Wharf, Crossrail Place:

The centre is open from Monday – Friday from 7am until 8pm, and Saturday from 7am – 4pm.

Services at the centre include:

Muscle, bone and joint treatment

The musculoskeletal team offers consultations, diagnosis and treatment for muscle, bone and joint conditions including injuries, arthritis and back or knee pain. Treatments include physiotherapy, osteopathy, podiatry, running checks, cycling checks and knee and back pain management.

Physiotherapy and run checks

Bupa’s physiotherapists typically provide treatments such as mobilisation, manual therapy, massage and acupuncture. With run checks, the physiotherapist investigates the patient’s flexibility, strength and core stability on a treadmill and devise an individual program to condition the patient’s body for running, whether they are taking their first steps as a runner or aiming for a new personal best. The physiotherapy team also runs a Pilates course to help customers improve their core stability following an injury or just for health and fitness.


Podiatry techniques can be effective in treating common injuries such as heel pain and plantar fasciitis, toe deformities and pain on movement.

Dental treatment

The centre provides a wide range of dental care from check-ups to crowns, to cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening and orthodontics, including fixed and discreet braces.  Bupa dentists use some of the latest techniques and dental equipment, including digital X-rays that enable the dentist to diagnose problems immediately and intra-oral cameras that can help to improve patients’ understanding of any dental problems they may have.

Health assessments

Bupa’s range of health assessments can help patients understand their health and identify any future health risks. As well as a range of clinical tests, each health assessment includes time to speak to doctor about any health concerns, and practical advice on the test results, offering ways to become healthier and fitter. 

Private GP appointments

Private GP appointments are available at the centre, and appointments will often be the same or next day. The central location and choice of appointment times make visiting the GP as convenient as possible for Reading workers and local residents.

The centre also has experts on hand to advise on other Bupa products available, such as dental plans, travel insurance, and health insurance.

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

We have 15.5 million health insurance customers, provide healthcare to around 14.5 million people in our clinics and hospitals, and look after over 23,300 aged care residents.

We employ over 78,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the USA, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland, and many more through our associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

Health insurance is around 70% of our business. In a number of countries, we also run clinics, dental centres, hospitals and care homes and villages.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com

Share this

Contact Bupa Press Office

If you're a journalist and would like to find out more about any of our activity, or request a comment from one of our spokespeople, please contact the Bupa Press Office via one of the below