Innovative work to tackle high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease across Cheshire and Merseyside is underway with pilots to support targeted uptake of NHS Health Checks and use of community-based Wellpoint Kiosks taking place across the subregion.
Following a successful NHS Prevention award of £200,000, the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership is driving forward the NHS Health Checks delivery in target populations to reduce inequalities in the uptake of health checks in priority groups with high levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The NHS Health Checks for adults aged 40-74 aim to reduce CVD risk by supporting healthy behaviour change and identifying previously undiagnosed risk conditions including high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and high cholesterol.
Three confirmed pilot sites are taking part in the delivery of the targeted NHS Health Checks including Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Borough Council and Wirral Council.
Each pilot site will receive an implementation fund to co-develop innovative approaches aimed at increasing health checks uptake in a locally identified priority group. Learning will be captured and shared over coming months to support wider adoption of successful delivery models across the sub-region.
Dr Mel Roche, Public Health Consultant and Blood Pressure Lead for the Champs Support Team, said:
“High blood pressure causes half of all heart attacks and cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of ill health and premature death in Cheshire and Merseyside.
“The coming months will be crucial in terms of saving lives, preventing heart attacks and strokes, and reducing winter pressures on health and care services.
“Recent NHS Health Check data for Cheshire and Merseyside shows that those living in the most deprived communities are half as likely to attend an NHS Health Check. Non-attendance is also higher with certain ethnic groups, and working age men. As NHS Health Checks restart after the pandemic, this is an important opportunity to focus on priority groups and to help address health inequalities.”
As well as the NHS Health Check pilots across Cheshire and Merseyside, the subregion is also seeing the re-introduction of Wellpoint Kiosks following a pause over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Partnership, the kiosks give users information on their weight, body mass index, blood pressure, cardiovascular risk and heart age, and signpost for further support.
Following a call for expressions of interest, public health teams in three local authorities (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Knowsley) are planning to, or are already, utilising the kiosks in community settings, such as leisure centres and shopping centres.
Expressions of interest are also coming in from community pharmacies in deprived areas across remaining Cheshire and Merseyside local authorities, ensuring all areas across the subregion have the chance to benefit from this popular initiative.
For further information on the NHS Health Checks pilot or Wellpoint Kiosks, please contact Dr Mel Roche, via firstname.lastname@example.org.