Hastings: Over 3,000 people in Hastings and Rother received key advice on leading a healthier lifestyle and improving health from the NHS Health Check bus, a partnership initiative from NHS Hastings and Rother and Pfizer.
Of the 3,011 people who visited the bus, over 300 received a free Health Check during a 16-stop roadshow throughout June and July, 2010.
The bus was specifically aimed at screening people who would not normally go to their GP or pharmacy for a check-up, and tests were offered to people aged 40 to 74.
The NHS Health Checks include questions about a patient’s lifestyle, recording of height, weight, blood pressure and pulse rate, plus a simple blood test to check cholesterol levels.
Health Checks are useful for identifying those at risk from conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and stroke.
During the roadshow, 37% tested were advised to see their GP for further diabetes screening, whilst 25% were identified as having more than a 1-in-5 risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.
In addition, 25% were advised to seek further help and advice from a heathcare professional for high blood pressure, 20% were referred for high body mass index, 16% were referred for drinking more than the recommended alcohol units each week, and 7% were referred to the ‘Stop Smoking Service’ for smoking cessation support.
Hayley Martin, a Health Development Manager from the local NHS, says: "The NHS Health Check bus has helped us to identify a large number of people with serious health concerns which, if left unchecked, could lead to real problems in the future.
Many of those we checked may not have even realised there was an issue, perhaps because they are not registered with a local GP practice or do not see their GP regularly.
"We have been able to tell those people what their Health Checks revealed and advise them on steps they can take to improve their health and reduce the risk of suffering something like a heart attack or stroke.
We used this approach on a pilot basis, and early indications suggest it could be something that makes a real difference to people."
Nicky Beardmore, Regional Account Director for Pfizer in the South East says:
"The NHS Health Check bus has been a real success with local people, with over 3,000 visiting the vehicle on its tour around Hastings and Rother over the summer.
"It has been a really positive experience working with local NHS staff in order to find new and innovative ways to have an impact on improving the long-term health of the community."
A recent report found that in the Hastings area approximately 15% of adults have high blood pressure and around 30% are smokers, placing the population at high risk in the future of developing health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.