Thursday 20 February 2014

New NHS Health Check training videos: service users share their experiences

March 2014 is set to be a significant month for the NHS Health Check campaign, with the release of the JBS 3 cardiovascular prevention guidelines and a series of comprehensive new training videos for providers and service users.

Featuring full-length consultations, the training videos will offer providers an invaluable insight into what best practice looks like in action. The individuals carrying out the checks are all experienced Check4Life providers who’ve been responsible for delivering a consistently high volume of checks for a number of years.

In addition, the materials – which will be freely available on YouTube – will serve as an information source for any member of the general public interested in finding out what having a check is all about.

With the health checks being real as opposed to staged, the videos really capture the impact that effective, non-judgemental consultations can have. Keith and Bruce, two men that received consultations as a part of the project had only positive things to say about their experiences:

Bruce, 40 years old, from Durham, was given a health check by Dawn from John Low’s Medical Centre in Consett, County Durham

Bruce before his first health check five years ago

‘‘It was really interesting. I actually came for a health check five years ago when the scheme was first being introduced and functioned as a bit of a guinea pig for the pharmacists to train on!

The results I got today are phenomenal in comparison to last time. When I came first time around, I was leading a completely different lifestyle to what I am now and it was a real eye-opener when I saw my results. I was drinking a huge amount more than I am now and I was a heavy smoker as well. As a result of the health check, I put a stop to both these habits and began eating a lot healthier.

In short, the health check had an extremely positive impact, so much so that I’ve since been able to complete a number of Ironman challenges and am planning to race seven marathons in seven days across the Sahara this year! I couldn’t even run to the pub five years ago!

Even last time, I remember Dawn being really professional and very non-judgemental in her style. Today was no different, I felt very relaxed and comfortable.

I’d recommend it 100% to others. Five years ago, I thought that I was pretty healthy because my job’s always been fairly active. It turned out that I really wasn’t doing enough though. In fact, because of my lifestyle I was building up real problems for myself. My results today have confirmed that I’ve been able to turn all this around.’’

Bruce in August, 2013

Keith, 55 years old, from Durham, was given a health check by Nicola of County Durham’s Check4Life team:

‘‘From the greeting onwards, I thought the whole thing was really professional. Nicola explained everything really well for me and I understood precisely what was going to happen.

What was quite surprising was how I wasn’t being judged in any way, shape or form. I wasn’t told I was fat, drinking too much or not exercising enough, Nicola just gave me the information and let me make my own judgement about it.

The health check has certainly given me the evidence and incentive to make more changes to my lifestyle.

I’d definitely recommend it to anybody; there’s nothing to be frightened of. Even the finger-stick sample is nothing really. The thing is, it lets us find out how we are because we don’t know what we’re like inside until somebody helps you to see what you are.’’

The training videos will be officially released in March. Keep an eye on this blog for details.