Pilot scheme to offer health checks to Metro passengers

Health checks are being offered to some Metro passengers in a new scheme.
Health checks are being offered to some Metro passengers in a new scheme.

Metro passengers will be offered on-the-spot health checks as part of a pilot scheme by two councils.

North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council are working with Nexus to encourage more members of the public to have their health checked for free when they turn 40.

NHS Health Checks are offered in writing to all adults aged 40 to 74 once every five years, but figures show in the North of England only 48.3 per cent of adults received the check-up in 2016/2017.

From June 12 to 15, staff from the councils’ public health teams, HealthWORKS Newcastle, and the NUFC Foundation will be offering health checks to passers-by at the Four Lane Ends Interchange in Longbenton.

The free assessment takes 15 minutes and includes a blood pressure and cholesterol level test; a lifestyle questionnaire around smoking, alcohol and exercise; and test for BMI levels and waist measurements.

Results from the confidential check-up are sent to the participant’s GP.

If successful, the pop-up clinic could be extended to other travel hubs.

Coun Margaret Hall, cabinet member with responsibility for public health at North Tyneside Council, said: “We all have to take slightly better care of ourselves when we reach our 40s.

“Many conditions that affect us in later life can be prevented if they’re caught early enough and we cannot afford to be complacent about conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.”

“If you’re in the 40-74 age group and without a pre-existing condition, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or the council inviting you for a free NHS Health Check. All you need to do is make an appointment – it couldn’t be simpler!”

Coun Jane Streather, cabinet member for public health and housing at Newcastle City Council, said: “Identifying and preventing illness early is extremely important; the free NHS Health Checks are a key tool for doing this.

“Many people reach their 40s in good health, a letter from your GP inviting you for a free Health Check is nothing to worry about, it is an opportunity to look forward and prevent any age-related illnesses.

“I would encourage anyone who receives a Free Health Check letter to make an appointment, its really easy to do.”

Metro Services Director, Chris Carson, said: “A public transport hub is a great venue to hold a health check event and I hope that our customers will take the time out to drop in as part of their daily journeys.

“Anything that can be done to promote health and well-being is to be welcomed.”

Ashley Lowe, health project co-ordinator for the Newcastle United Foundation, said: “The health checks we’ve carried out so far have been really popular.

“We’ve received great feedback from people who have used the advice we’ve given them to make small changes in their lifestyles that will ensure they stay healthy for as long as possible.

“It’s quick, easy and convenient to go through us rather than your GP so I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is eligible.”

Look out for staff from HealthWORKS Newcastle and the NUFC Foundation at Four Lane Ends Interchange on:

• Monday from 8am to 6pm;

• Tuesday from 8am to 5pm;

• Wednesday from 8.15am to 3pm;

• Thursday from noon to 6.30pm.

For further information about the NHS Health Check visit www.healthcheck.nhs.uk