23 Mar 2016

Public Health

Fresh drive to improve the health of middle aged residents

Middle-aged Bristol residents can now get a free NHS health check on their doorstep with pop up sessions taking place in local communities and workplaces across the city.
In a drive to encourage more people aged between 40 and 74 to take up the opportunity for a 30 minute check-up, the council’s Public Health team has teamed up with Healthy Living Centres to get more people thinking about their wellbeing.
Health checks allow you to get your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight checked and can help people avoid heart attacks or strokes over the next 10 years.  A health check is also an opportunity to get support with losing weight and quitting smoking.
Becky Pollard, director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “We’ve made it even easier for residents to keep tabs on their health, so there really is no excuse not to have a check-up. The lifestyle choices we make today can decrease our risk of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer by as much as 60 per cent.
“In Bristol we’re supporting Public Health’s new One You campaign which encourages the nation to take simple steps to be healthier. It’s not rocket science, but small changes can make a big difference: drinking less, sleeping better, moving more, checking yourself and eating well, along with trying to keep stress levels under control, are things we can all try to do. For smokers, quitting is the best thing they can do to be healthier.”
The health check team will be visiting over 20 workplaces across the city, ranging from Job Centres to taxi ranks and big offices, reaching employees less likely to visit their GP centres.
Drop-in events are also taking place at Charlotte Keel Surgery in Easton during April and May and can be booked over the phone. Two health check events will also be taking place on 6 and 7 April at the @Symes surgery in the south of the city between 9am and 5pm.
George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, recently had his annual health check at a city-centre workplace. Mayor Ferguson said: “Keeping on top of your health is an essential task especially as you get older.  Your body is more resilient than you think and new research suggests that it is never too late to turn your health around.  By making the right choices now, getting yourself checked out and making some lifestyle changes you can improve your life expectancy and how you feel. I would encourage others to find out where they can get a health check locally and sign up now.”
You can also book a 30-minute NHS Health Check free of charge with your GP or one of the following Community Outreach Teams:

• Knowle West Health Park
• Southmead Development Trust
• Wellspring Healthy Living Centre

In order to be eligible you must be aged between 40-74 years, registered with a Bristol GP, and not already receiving treatment for a cardiovascular condition (diabetes, heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol).
More information about NHS health checks can be found here: www.healthcheck.nhs.uk
Employers interested in hosting a health check should contact Pippa Dove on 0117 3772256 or at pdove@knowlewesthealthpark.co.uk