OVER 500 members of staff from Petroplus Coryton Refinery have had their blood pressure tested by nurses from NHS South West Essex as part of a drive to encourage people to have a free NHS Health Check.
Lifestyle advice was provided to everyone that attended the testing with some being referred to the health and wellbeing services run by Vitality, commissioned by NHS South West Essex for healthy life checks, stop smoking advice and weight management support.
The Government has made a commitment that by 2013, everyone aged 40-74, that doesn’t have an existing diagnosis of heart disease, stroke, diabetes or chronic kidney disease will be offered an NHS check, once every 5 years. The check will assess your risk of developing these diseases so that action can be taken to reduce the risk where it is high.
NHS Health Checks are available at selected pharmacies in areas with frequent occurrences of heart disease and will take 20-30 minutes. The check is based on straightforward questions and measurements such as age, sex, family history, height, weight and blood pressure. There will also be a simple blood test to measure your cholesterol level.
A full list of participating pharmacies is available on the NHS South West Essex website, www.swessex.nhs.uk or by calling 0800 5819159
Following the check, you will receive free personalised advice about what you can do to stay healthy.
Dr. Katherine Gronqvist, Director of Public Health at NHS South West Essex said: “NHS South West Essex is one of the first PCTs in the country to carry out the Health Checks. We firmly believe that prevention and keeping people healthy is as important as providing care and cures. Providing free NHS Health Checks is part of our drive to offer the information and support people need to make healthy choices.”