More people could be getting a free health check thanks to a Preston lecturer.Advertisement
Simon Alford from the University of Central Lancashire has developed a qualification to increase the amount of community health checks.
Introduced in 2008 only 50 per cent of those eligible for the health check have them carried out by their GP.
It aims to identify the early signs of conditions including high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and dementia in people aged 40 to 74.
The NHS wants to see them carried out in places such as supermarkets and football grounds.
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Mr Alford’s certificate of competency in Health Checks Assessment would allow more people to carry out the checks.
He said: “There are groups within communities which do not regularly, if at all, engage with their local NHS services or visit their GP. Some GP surgeries simply don’t have the resources or time to enable enough people to have these important health checks.
“This is worrying because it means there’s many people with conditions which aren’t being detected and therefore treated.
“If there were more places within local communities where people could feel comfortable going, including places they regularly visit such as supermarkets and leisure centres, then this would hopefully increase the amount of people who engage, meaning early detection or prevention of conditions.”
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One of the places which could soon offer the health checks is leisure centres.
Managing director of Brio Leisure Elly McFahn, who operates 11 centres in the North West, said: “Brio Leisure delivers a range of public health services and it is important to provide these services where people most need them, including health solutions through community settings such as leisure centres.
“If organisations such as ours were certified to deliver health checks, this would provide comfort to the medical profession and end users that the service was delivered to industry standards.”
Mr Alford is senior lecturer in preventative medicine at UCLan.
Have you ever had one of the health checks? What do you think of the idea? Let us know in the comments below