One hundred GP practices across Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s most deprived areas have delivered more than 40,000 ‘Keep Well’ health checks on patients at risk of a range of long term health conditions including cardiovascular disease.
As a result many hundreds of patients who were on the cusp of chronic ill health have been picked up early and treated before their condition worsened whilst other previously undiagnosed patients have also been identified and are now in effective treatment programmes.
This programme of health checks is known as the Keep Well programme – a major health improvement drive which aims to prevent ill-health in those aged 40 to 64. Originally designed to look for cardiovascular disease in this population, the programme was widened to include all preventable long term conditions.
The major milestone was highlighted at the Board meeting of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde today when Director of Public Heath, Dr Linda de Caestecker, reported on the programme’s progress to date.
Evaluation of the programme in Greater Glasgow and Clyde has shown that in the best performing Keep Well practices very substantial and real change in the health of their population was achieved.
Dr de Caestecker also set out how learning from these best performing Keep Well practices would be shared as the programme continues its roll out.
Through Keep Well, people registered with participating GP practices and in the target age group of between 40 to 64 years are invited to attend their GP practices for a health check. Where health issues are identified individuals will then have access to a range of other services supporting lifestyle changes including exercise and weight management, smoking cessation, stress centres, money advice, literacy and employability.
Grandmother of two Jacqueline McMillian, 64, from Drumchapel, cannot speak highly enough of the Keep Well initiative and of the team at Drumchapel Heath Centre who she now considers friends.
Earlier this year, Jacqueline was diagnosed with Angina through the Keep Well programme and is now on medication which effectively controls the symptoms.
Jacqueline explained: “I cannot recommend this programme highly enough. Thanks to the Keep Well team at Drumchapel Health Centre I was diagnosed with Angina and I now go for routine checkups - the team is just fantastic. They have so much time for you. It’s very much a friendship and you never feel rushed and you can tell them anything – they listen to any concerns you have about your heath and they’ll answer any questions – you really do leave feeling brilliant!”
Dr Linda de Caestecker said: “I am delighted that more than 40,000 residents from some of our most deprived communities have received this vital health check. As a result we have been able to help many hundreds of people who were either previously undiagnosed or better still act early to prevent the onset of chronic ill health.
“The aim of the programme is to increase the rate of health improvement in deprived communities by enhancing primary care services to deliver anticipatory care: identifying and targeting those at particular risk of preventable serious ill-health; offering appropriate interventions and providing monitoring and follow-up.
“Our evaluation has shown that the Keep Well programme has enabled partner agencies and individuals to work together for sustained health gain in our most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.”
For further information either tel: 0141 201 4429 or email: [email protected]