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Cathedral staff take up NHS Health Checks

11 April 2016

Canterbury cathedral Nick PCanterbury Cathedral staff took time out of their busy day to make sure they are in the best of health by getting free on-the-spot NHS Health Checks from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Alison Brookman, Head of HR at the Cathedral, said: “With more than 330 staff and 600 volunteers, the Cathedral is one of the largest employers in the city centre. We provide a huge range of staff roles from security guards, conservationists and administration roles, as well as clergymen and women. We are a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as a place of worship, so ensuring that our colleagues are fit and well to look after visitors is important. We originally had two days scheduled in for checks, but the demand has been really positive so a third day was quickly added.”

Director of Visits and Marketing Therese Heslop was pleased to take up the offer of an on-the-spot Health Check. “At first I thought, ‘I don’t want to know’, but then I thought, ‘no, take a reality check – get one’. I haven’t been to the GP for years and I feel completely healthy so I didn’t know I had high blood pressure, but it was very high at 160 over 107. The checker, Rafal, has advised me to see my GP for further checks.”

Stained Glass Conservator Grace Ayson was happy with her Health Check. “I think it’s a good idea to get it at work as otherwise I probably wouldn’t go. Everything’s fine which is good to know.”

PR Manager Jane Walker has a history of stroke in her family so was keen to get her cholesterol checked out. She said: “My cholesterol levels and blood pressure were both fine, which was reassuring. My weight is a bit of an issue but we talked about it and I know what I need to do. It’s convenient to be able to get this during my working day.”

Canon Nick Papadopulos also took up the offer of a free NHS Health Check at work out of curiosity, and overall was pleased with his results; “I was interested to know how I’m doing health-wise. I’m happy with the check, apart from not being as tall as I thought I was! I was pleased to be offered this at work as I probably wouldn’t have gone to a GP appointment.”

Conference and Events Coordinator Tania Allin was referred to her GP for further tests following her health check. “Everything apart from my BMI was fine. I do need to lose weight and do more exercise, so this has given me some extra motivation,” she said, “it was great to get my health check here. I wouldn’t have gone to the GP as I feel absolutely fine.”

Cathedral staff take up NHS Health ChecksAssistant Director for Health Improvement at KCHFT, Anne Ford, said: “it’s been lovely working at the cathedral as they clearly care about the health and wellbeing of their team. We’ve talked to such a wide variety of people who do some amazing work here at this world-famous heritage site and we are very pleased to be able to provide NHS Health Checks as a free service.”

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust offers NHS Health Checks in workplaces across Kent. To be eligible for an NHS Health Check you must be aged 40 to 74 with no pre-existing related conditions. For more information call 0300 123 1220.