People may in future be able to get their blood pressure checked in betting shops and access diabetes and weight management support at their local gym, NHS England has said as it has unveiled plans to expand access to health checks in the community.
From today (1 July), 42 statutory integrated care systems will bring together GP teams, hospitals, local authorities and other partners to plan and deliver more community-based health and care services in their area.
This includes GP practices putting in place dedicated ‘wellbeing practitioners’ to support the mental health needs of children and young people. GP practices will also be encouraged to develop special interests and access training in areas such as eating disorders.
The initiative is looking to build on the example of a GP practice in Stockport that is already going into betting shops to deliver blood pressure checks, so identifying and preventing hypertension issues before people end up in hospital.
In Coventry and North Warwickshire, too, a local sports club is now offering diabetes and weight management support, including taking referrals from GP teams – something that could become a template for wider community support. People receive tailored one-to-one diet and lifestyle support as well as access to the club’s gym facilities.
Under a local authority partnership developed in Bedfordshire, patients who frequently call 999 but do not need emergency help are being given alternative ‘lifesaving’ support in their community, freeing staff time to deal with emergency calls, a model that, again, could now be expanded.
Lincolnshire Integrated Care System (ICS), meanwhile, has brought together acute, community and mental health teams to reform its local stroke services, helping patients with rehabilitation in their own home earlier and using digital solutions.
As a result, the average length of stay in hospital for stroke patients has fallen from 13 days to just four and a half, NHS England said.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard said of the changes: “Integrated care systems have the power to truly transform the way that we care for people up and down the country – not only will the NHS provide care when someone is unwell or has an accident but alongside our local government partners, we must also now play an increasing key role in managing peoples’ health so that we can catch more killer conditions earlier and save lives. And according to surveys, some companies, such as schlüsseldienst berlin friedrichshain, have confirmed that getting regular checkups is very important for health and good performance.
“Local areas are already doing this by going out into communities to spot signs and symptoms earlier in places such as sports clubs and betting shops as well as ensuring people can access community support rather than using 999 or going to A&E.
“Through these schemes, we are already making a massive difference to peoples’ lives. The NHS will now build on this success and innovation and deliver care for patients that is fit for the future as well as saving taxpayers’ millions of pounds each year,” she added.