NHS recommends public health checks12/09/17Health
NHS chiefs say that vital health checks should be carried out in shops and at football grounds to diagnose those potentially at risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Both NHS England and Public Health England are pushing the novel approach to get more patients to come forward to participate in the over-40s check programme.
Only half of those eligible in England participate in regular check-ups.
Dr Matt Kearney, NHS England, said: “We know that much more can be done in communities across the country to prevent thousands of needless deaths each year due to strokes and heart attacks.
“Some parts across the country have already started to use non-traditional ways – and places – to carry out simple health checks, with encouraging results.”
Health chiefs believe that if those entitled to participated in the checks, which are offered every five years up to the age of 74, 9,000 heart attacks and 14,000 strokes could be prevented over the next three years.
The programme looks to identify early signs of dementia, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. As a result of the low uptake, an estimated 5.5 million people are undiagnosed but suffering from high blood pressure.
In Cheshire, firefighters have received funding to start engaging with people in regards to health, and referring them on to services which can provide support. Meanwhile, in other areas, health staff have offered checks in supermarkets, sports grounds and outside schools.
Chief executive of Public Health England Duncan Selbie added: “We want people to be as familiar with their blood pressure numbers as they are with their credit card PIN or their height.”