Oxfordshire over-40s putting their lives at risk skipping free health checks

Witney Gazette: Dr Joe McManners Dr Joe McManners

PEOPLE over the age of 40 are putting their lives at risk by not getting free health checks.

Fewer than half of the county’s 40 to 74-year-olds are attending the NHS checks, latest figures show.

The county council, which is now responsbile for the tests under its public health remit, said it is trying to improve take-ups which are used to spot early signs of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.

Only 45.9 per cent attended tests in the 12 months from April 1, 2013.This is below a county target of 65 per cent for the test.

The 20 to 30-minute test includes a finger prick blood sample to test cholesterol, a blood pressure test and weighing to check body mass index.

Doctors also ask about the patient’s health such as smoking, family history and physical activity levels.

Cabinet member for public health and the voluntary sector Hilary Hibbert-Biles said the tests can stop problems doing “real damage” to a person’s health. She said: “NHS Health Checks are a simple way of making sure some of your body's most important systems are all running smoothly.”

Residents who do not have regular appointments should be invited every five years to attend a check-up but just 19,001 out of 41,368 went last year.

In England last year, 48.9 per cent attended, up 9.5 per cent from the previous year.

In April last year, Oxfordshire County Council took over responsibility for the tests and said it is taking action to improve uptake and is aiming for 65 per cent.

It said it is working with GP surgeries to create template invite letters and “to see what works in improving uptake”.

The authority said it is planning an autumn public event to raise awareness and working with GP-ped Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) to build relationships with family doctors.

Headington GP and OCCG clinical chair Dr Joe McManners said: “The main thing we find is that people, when they are well, they are too busy to come for them. It is a challenge to track down people who don’t normally come to doctors.”

  • Our top stories

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:33am Mon 2 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Well...

Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it?

On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces.

4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth).

Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done.

Think of the customer.
Well... Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it? On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces. 4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth). Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done. Think of the customer. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

9:35am Mon 2 Jun 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Well...

Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it?

On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces.

4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth).

Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done.

Think of the customer.
And the extra money for this overtime will come from ?

I also don't think it's the lack of appointments more peoples apathy at going and not actually knowing about it.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Well... Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it? On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces. 4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth). Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done. Think of the customer.[/p][/quote]And the extra money for this overtime will come from ? I also don't think it's the lack of appointments more peoples apathy at going and not actually knowing about it. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 3

10:54am Mon 2 Jun 14

oafie says...

I have never been invited to any sort of health check for the over 40's. Most GP's seem to have stopped doing such checks.

The first line of medical advice these days seems to be..give it three months and wait and see?
I have never been invited to any sort of health check for the over 40's. Most GP's seem to have stopped doing such checks. The first line of medical advice these days seems to be..give it three months and wait and see? oafie
  • Score: 3

10:55am Mon 2 Jun 14

oafie says...

Headington GP and OCCG clinical chair Dr Joe McManners said: “The main thing we find is that people, when they are well, they are too busy to come for them. It is a challenge to track down people who don’t normally come to doctors.”

That's because when ill we can never get an appointment.
Headington GP and OCCG clinical chair Dr Joe McManners said: “The main thing we find is that people, when they are well, they are too busy to come for them. It is a challenge to track down people who don’t normally come to doctors.” That's because when ill we can never get an appointment. oafie
  • Score: 3

11:48am Mon 2 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

One problem could be that some of those that don't attend, are obese and too lazy to make the effort.
One problem could be that some of those that don't attend, are obese and too lazy to make the effort. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe wrote:
Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Well...

Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it?

On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces.

4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth).

Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done.

Think of the customer.
And the extra money for this overtime will come from ?

I also don't think it's the lack of appointments more peoples apathy at going and not actually knowing about it.
Depends on what costs more...

Proactively identifying something early in a customer friendly way for people who work during normal health centre hours.

Or

Reactively identifying something in the usual way for people who wait until they can get an appointment that doesn't conflict with employment.

(Not forgetting that many employers have in-house schemes).
[quote][p][bold]Sandy Wimpole-Smythe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Well... Perhaps OCCG could do something a bit more practical about it? On Saturdays and Sundays, Jubilee house (home of OCCG) on the Oxford Business Park sits empty with various meeting roooms and around a hundred parking spaces. 4*15 minute sessions, operating 8am-8pm on Saturdays & Sundays in 4 rooms would give around 360 appointment slots every weekend (allowing for breaks and so forth). Organise the kit and offer overtime for staff and a receptionist - and the job is done. Think of the customer.[/p][/quote]And the extra money for this overtime will come from ? I also don't think it's the lack of appointments more peoples apathy at going and not actually knowing about it.[/p][/quote]Depends on what costs more... Proactively identifying something early in a customer friendly way for people who work during normal health centre hours. Or Reactively identifying something in the usual way for people who wait until they can get an appointment that doesn't conflict with employment. (Not forgetting that many employers have in-house schemes). Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Joanna66 says...

I go for every health check offered but that's because I'm fit and healthy, although half a stone overweight.

Perhaps those that ignore the letters from their GP do so because they fear the results of these simple tests. Perhaps they smoke, or drink, or eat unhealthily and know that they'd get a lecture on cutting back if they did go.
I go for every health check offered but that's because I'm fit and healthy, although half a stone overweight. Perhaps those that ignore the letters from their GP do so because they fear the results of these simple tests. Perhaps they smoke, or drink, or eat unhealthily and know that they'd get a lecture on cutting back if they did go. Joanna66
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree