Promoting NHS Health Checks in Kent
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust is the commissioned provider for NHS Health Checks in Kent. GP practice staff carry out most NHS Health Checks and outreach clinics are delivered in the community to people who may not want to visit a GP.
In 2015, the trust decided to undertake some active promotion of the programme because just half of all people invited for a check have had one. This involved delivering a summer-long roadshow called ‘Live Well, Live Longer’ at 25 different local festivals and events to promote the checks and provide them opportunistically. Nearly 500 on-the-spot checks were completed; importantly, HALF of the people having a check needed an onward referral to a GP. Many said that they had the check because it was convenient and they didn’t need to make an appointment.
In November 2015 delivery of the checks was concentrated on reaching people in Thanet – the area of highest prevalence of CVD and CHD in the county and the lowest for take-up of NHS Health Checks – with the Big Thanet Health Check. A mobile clinic was provided at the local ASDA and meant that more than 160 checks were carried out in a week. To promote the Big Thanet Health Check the trust issued a press release focussed on the prevalence of disease. This, in conjunction with the week-long presence at ASDA, provided an excellent ‘hook’ to hang news stories on. This led to a series of stories in the run up to and during the event in the Isle of Thanet Gazette as well as substantial feature stories on ITV Meridian News (local TV news) and KMFM (local radio station), and shorter features on KMFM and the local BBC website.
A short film to promote the programme can be viewed here.
Jo Treharne -social marketing manager (Health and Wellbeing), Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust