Simple health check could help save people in Swale from premature death

People living in Swale are being encouraged to have a simple mid-life health check, which could reduce their chances of developing heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes.

Figures from the Kent Public Health Observatory show that Swale has rates of heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes that are above the Kent average. There are also higher than average rates of obesity, which can lead to long-term health problems.

Life expectancy in the district is the third lowest in Kent, at just 83 years for women and 79 years for men, however in some council wards this drops to just 78 years for women and 73 years for men. Hospital admissions for heart attack, stroke and breathing problems are also above the England average. Along with cancer; heart and lung disease account for two thirds of all deaths in the district.

While many people will already be receiving treatment from their doctor and local health services, it’s feared others may be unaware of potential health issues.

Now local NHS teams are gearing up for a week of special events in Swale which will concentrate on providing free on-the-spot NHS Health Checks and health ‘MOTs’ in supermarkets, pubs and other local venues.

The Big Swale Health Check is being organised by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is commissioned by Kent County Council.

Andrew Scott-Clark, KCC’s Director of Public Health, said: “There are many people in Swale who are suffering from debilitating conditions and reaching the end of their life prematurely. The tragedy is that many of these conditions and premature deaths can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and increasing physical activity.

“While many of these people are aware of their health condition and the service available, NHS Health Checks are a good way of finding out if you are at increased risk of developing a serious condition and everyone who is entitled to one should take up the offer. High blood pressure and high cholesterol often cause no symptoms whatsoever, so unless you have a check you won’t know you have them. If you know that you are at risk there are services that can help you to get on the right track. Small changes to your lifestyle can really help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and you’ll feel fitter and healthier too.”

Morrison’s in Sheppey and Sittingbourne are providing space all week for the checks, as well as helping with free ‘Food Smart’ supermarket tours to help shoppers make sense of food labelling, and offers to improve their daily eating habits.

Other venues include local pharmacies, the Sheerness Healthy Living Centre, The Rose and Crown pub at Leysdown, and the Brents’ Tavern in Faversham.

Anne Ford, Assistant Director for Health Improvement at KCHFT, said: “NHS Health Checks are an excellent way to find out if you are on the right track. Some conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, don’t have any symptoms, so you won’t know you have them unless you get a check. Once you’ve had the health check, you’ll be given a free personalised plan to help you to stay fit and healthy.”

The Big Swale Health Check will take place from Monday, 19 September to Saturday, 24 September 2016. More information on the Big Swale Health Check can be found at: www.kenthealthandwellbeing.nhs.uk/health-checks/the-big-swale-health-check  or call 0300 123 1220 (option 4). To be eligible for an NHS Health Check you must be aged 40 to 74, with no related pre-existing conditions.

Times and venues

Monday 19 September
Morrisons Sheppey 10am – 4pm
Healthy Living Centre Sheerness 10am – 2pm
Phoenix House, Sittingbourne (MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE)

Tuesday 20 September
Morrisons Sheppey 10am – 4pm
Castle Connections, Queenborough
10am – 2pm
Phoenix House, Sittingbourne
(MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE)

Wednesday 21 September
Morrisons Sheppey 10am – 4pm
Eastchurch Village Hall 10am – 2pm
Rose and Crown Leysdown 11am – 3pm

Thursday 22 September
Morrisons Sittingbourne  10am – 4pm
The Brents Tavern Faversham  11am – 3pm

Friday 23 September
Morrisons Sittingbourne 10am – 4pm
Sheerness Gateway 10am – 2pm

Saturday 24 September
Morrisons Sittingbourne 10am – 4pm

ENDS

For more information contact Chloe Crouch, Communications and Media Officer at
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust chloe.crouch@kentcht.nhs.uk
01622 211942

 

Simple health check could help save people in Swale from premature death was last modified: September 14th, 2016 by Gemma Smith