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What are Community Health Checks?

The Community Health Check project is an innovative initiative funded by Public Health aimed at enhancing the reach and impact of NHS Health Checks. Our programme focuses on delivering health assessments within the community, particularly targeting groups with historically low uptake rates.

 

These include men, individuals who misuse drugs and alcohol, people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and residents in the most deprived areas of Wirral. By bringing health checks directly to these communities, we aim to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and promote overall health and wellbeing.

Why Community Health Checks are Important

The importance of Community Health Checks helps address health inequalities and improve access to preventive health services. Traditional NHS Health Checks are often conducted within GP Practices, which can be difficult for some people.

 

By providing health checks in community settings, we can overcome barriers related to accessibility, cultural sensitivity, and trust.

 

Key benefits:

  1. Enhanced Reach: By delivering health checks within the community, we can reach more people and support the objectives of NHS Health Check delivery. This is particularly important for high blood pressure (hypertension) case finding, which is a priority area in the Core20Plus5 framework.
  2. Addressing Health Inequalities: Community Health Checks target populations that may face higher levels of ‘unhealthy’ behavior and risk factors. By focusing on these groups, we can reduce differences in health outcomes and ensure that preventive care reaches those who need it most.
  3. Additional Capacity: Our community-based model complements these efforts by providing additional capacity and reaching individuals who may not typically access healthcare services through traditional channels.
  4. Cultural Competence: Community organisations have a deep understanding of the cultural nuances and specific needs of the populations they assist. This allows them to provide care and support that is culturally sensitive and tailored to individual preferences and backgrounds.
  5. Holistic Approach: Our approach goes beyond physical health to address social, emotional, and environmental factors that influence health outcomes. This strategy aligns with the goals of NHS Health Checks and promotes overall wellbeing.
  6. Utilising Technology: We use advanced digital tools and software, such as the Health Diagnostics system, to capture and share health check data with GP practices. This integration ensures that critical health information is effectively managed and acted upon.

Who is Eligible for a NHS Health Check?

The NHS Health Check is available to adults in England aged 40 to 74 who have not been diagnosed with certain pre-existing conditions. People who are eligible are invited for a health check once every five years. The check includes a range of tests and questions about health and lifestyle, designed to identify early signs of conditions that can be prevented through lifestyle changes or treatment.

 

Eligibility criteria exclude those who have already been diagnosed with conditions such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, or those who are currently being prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, as these individuals are already receiving regular health monitoring.

 

For people who may not qualify for a full Health Check, we and our delivery partners offer something called a ‘Mini Health Check’ or a ‘Health MOT’ where it includes the same questions and process, just without the cholesterol checks.

Where can you get a Community Health Check in Wirral?

Have a look to see which of the Community Health Check delivery partners is the most convenient for you and get in touch to arrange.

 

These partnerships are crucial for our outreach and delivery strategies, ensuring that we can effectively reach and engage with underrepresented groups. For the year 2023/2024, we have continued to work with existing partners from the initial pilot phase and have also welcome Tranmere Rovers to expand our impact.

Project Impact and Future Directions

The Community Health Check project has demonstrated significant impact in its initial phases, providing valuable insights and data that inform our strategies for CVD prevention and health promotion.

 

Moving forward, we aim to expand our reach and continue building strong community partnerships to enhance the delivery and effectiveness of health checks.

 

By maintaining a focus on addressing health inequalities and using innovative approaches, the Community Health Check project represents a vital component of our commitment to improving public health outcomes in Wirral and beyond.

Have any questions?

Contact us for any further information about Community Health Checks – for yourself, your organisation or a loved one.