Leeds health staff are celebrating after winning a Heart UK award for their NHS Health Check work and being among the top teams in the country.
The NHS Health Check awards showcased the achievements, excellence and best practice from those involved in the life-saving scheme.
The Leeds team topped the ‘Best Impact for Patient Experience’ category and were runners up in the best team category. The awards were open to individuals, teams and organisations involved in commissioning and delivering NHS Health Checks.
NHS Health Checks are aimed at adults in England aged 40 to 74, to assess risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes some of the most disabling – but preventable – illnesses.
Lucy Jackson, Consultant in Public Health with Leeds City Council, said:
“It was a great honour to receive this award on behalf of all colleagues making NHS Health Checks a success in the city. We’ve done a lot to be proud of, but we know there’s still plenty more to do and I really want people to make having a check priority as it can be a real life saver.
“For instance, our evidence shows NHS Health Checks have helped us make over 6,000 new diagnoses of cardiovascular disease being identified and we’re able to help make sure appropriate help is put in place for those people.
“You can think of your NHS Health Check as being a free ‘midlife MOT’, which checks that some of your body’s most important systems are all running smoothly. Crucially, your NHS Health Check can detect potential problems before they do real damage. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented, so it really is something to put at the top of your ‘to do’ list.”
Among other things, blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI will all be checked at an NHS Health Check. The individual assessment of risks of developing health problems means you can get personalised advice on how to reduce it.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board for Leeds, said:
“Our record in Leeds is significantly above the national average, and so I’m delighted to see that the team’s hard work and commitment has been recognised. We know these checks can save lives and improve the quality of lives too, through early diagnosis and care so they’re a crucial part of improving the health and wellbeing of people in the city.”
“We’ve also been finding out from local people that they want more flexible and accessible appointments so, from 1st October, we’ve been doing a six month pilot where NHS Health Checks are offered in four of the ASDA pharmacies across the city.”
NHS Health Checks, which were introduced in 2009, are a health prevention programme aimed at people between the ages of 40-74 not otherwise being treated for a long term condition. In the last year, the programme has prevented 1,600 heart attacks and strokes and 650 deaths.
Jules Payne, Chief Executive of HEART UK, said:
“We are delighted to have staged the NHS Health Check Awards and to be able to reward the tireless work undertaken by Lucy Jackson and her colleagues, as well as other local authorities across the England. We hear of so much great work being done and it’s really exciting to recognise this.”