Since 2015, over 42,000 Doncaster residents have had a free NHS Health Check with their GP practice or services based in their local community.
The NHS Health Check is an important step for many people to improve their health and become more aware of what they can do to lead a healthier life.
The health check invites adults with no pre-existing cardio-vascular conditions, aged 40 to 74 once every five years for a free health assessment. It aims to identify those at risk of serious, but potentially avoidable conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The intention is to help people make preventative lifestyle changes to lower the risk of developing such conditions later in life.
The health check also enables patients to find out their blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol level. Results are confidential and are only shared with the patient and their registered GP.
Every year, GP practices that have held the most health checks are recognised for their ongoing commitment to encourage their patients to attend what can be for some, life changing appointments.
At an awards ceremony held today (Wednesday 5 June), supported and sponsored by BHR Pharmaceuitcals, the top award for 2018-19 went to The St Vincent Practice for delivering the most NHS Health Checks throughout 2018-19, followed by Dunsville Practice, for delivering the highest percentage of health checks to their eligible practice population.
Two other practices were also recognised for hard their work and commitment to encourage patients to attend the health checks:
- Petersgate Medical Centre and
- Scawsby Health Centre Practice.
Elaine Rickaby, Practice Administrator at The St Vincent Medical Centre shared some of her secrets as to how her team encourages people to attend the Doncaster health check programme.
Elaine said: “There is no real secret about our success. I am a target driven person who is passionate about educating the people in Doncaster of the importance in keeping healthy. As figures show the increase in diabetes and younger people having stroke not just in Doncaster but in the UK, how many of us are walking around with high blood pressure and high cholesterol with the stressful lives we lead?
“Sometimes it’s as easy as calling patients and talking to them about having a health check, taking their blood pressure and asking about their lifestyle. Through determination and working with a great team anyone can achieve the same results for their own practice.”
Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health, Doncaster Council said: “These health checks are very important and it is pleasing to see that people across Doncaster continue to access them.
“We know that the NHS Health Check is helping to tackle many of the risk factors which contribute to premature death and disability, published in a recent BMJ open paper. So it’s vital that we continue to raise awareness of the benefits a health check can bring.”
Dr David Crichton, Doncaster GP and Chair of Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I am pleased that people in Doncaster continue to register and take up the NHS Health Check. This simple check can really help improve people’s health and wellbeing.
“Whilst 42,000 is a great number, we know there is more work to do to encourage people to attend. These vital checks can help identify and treat people early on to help prevent and reduce the effects of a number of health conditions.”
Chris Simmonds Managing Director at Hallcross Medical Services, Doncaster said: “It’s fantastic to see that so many people are taking action to reduce their risk of developing some serious conditions.
“The success of the programme in Doncaster is testament to the commitment of the NHS working together with Doncaster Council to ensure the check is easily accessible for those that need it most; and the enthusiastic commitment of GP practices, pharmacies, community groups and businesses in providing the service to their patients and staff.”
The NHS Health Check interactive website provides information about what happens at a health check, when and how to register for one, as well as helpful information on how to lower your risk of medical conditions.
Further information about health checks in Doncaster can be found at Hallcross Medical Services website or by asking staff at your local GP surgery.