Cumbria Crack

Free health checks for Whitehaven shoppers

stethoscopeFree health checks will be offered by a community-led group in Dixon’s in Whitehaven on Tuesday January 28.

The Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Group wants to reduce the number of people having a stroke, and offers health checks which can pick up risk factors.

The groups have previously carried out health checks at the Whitehaven Traders’ Day in in St Nicholas Gardens in Whitehaven and the Distington Vintage Rally.

The group will be in Dixon’s between 10am and 1pm and the store is offering a voucher for a free cup of coffee for customers who have their BP tested.

Julie Clayton from NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group which supports the groups said: “The team has always been very busy when we are out and about – not just carrying out lots of tests but also talking to people about their health and making them aware of other information that could be helpful.

“As well as picking up potential health problems the days are also good fun. We are delighted that Dixon’s asked us to set up in the shop and chat to customers.”

The Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project is made up of: Rotary, the West Cumbrians’ Voice for Healthcare, the Stroke Association, North West Ambulance Service, Healthwatch Cumbria, Public Health, Community Pharmacy Cumbria and the local NHS.

The tests include blood pressure and irregular pulse checks – they can indicate problems which are known to significantly increase your chance of having a stroke, but can be treated relatively easily.

So far the group have carried out pulse and blood pressure tests on 227 people aged 19 to 80. Overall 20% of those seen were referred to their local Pharmacy or GP, with one urgent referral to A&E.

The group also shared advice on the things people can do to improve their own health, such as healthy eating, taking more exercise and stopping smoking which are key to reducing the chance of having a stroke.

Marie Dixon from Dixon’s Department Store said: “We have strong links with the local community and are delighted to have invited the Copeland Community Stroke Prevention Project to the store on Tuesday. We are also pleased to offer customers a free coffee when they have their health check on the day.”

Many strokes could possibly be avoided by treating some risk factors and making positive health choices such as losing weight, taking more exercise. NICE Guidance supports this approach.

Cumbria Community Pharmacy has four pharmacies in Copeland where people can be referred to for more monitoring or people can drop in and ask for testing if they fit the criteria. The pharmacies taking part are Mirehouse Pharmacy, the Seacliffe Pharmacy in Kells, Whitehaven Late Night Pharmacy and Seascale Pharmacy.

The group will be joined by Whitehaven’s town crier and the mayor of Copeland Mike Starkie on Tuesday.

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