“I can honestly say that going to the Health Check appointment saved my life. I have never liked going to my GP, as I am one of these people that even if something feels wrong, I would rather not know!”
Carol Jarman from New Romney was feeling absolutely fine, but when her husband received an NHS Health Check appointment letter one day she also decided to make an appointment for herself to keep him company.
She saw Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust advisor Rafal at a community clinic near her home.
She said: “Rafal explained the Health Check to me in more detail. He calculated my BMI and did my cholesterol test, my results were not bad but for some reason he couldn’t take my blood pressure as his monitor kept showing an error message. After trying for about 15 minutes, Rafal decided to refer me to my GP. We completed my check with an estimated cardiovascular risk score on that day. When I got home I booked an appointment with my GP.
“My blood pressure was checked at my surgery and I was shocked when it was found to be extremely high at 220 over 120. This was the reason why Rafal couldn’t take the reading during my appointment. I was given medication to lower my blood pressure and was told to rest. I wanted to learn more, so I read the blood pressure booklet I received from Rafal during my appointment.”
Two days after her first appointment Carol received a call from Rafal to find out how her GP appointment had gone. “I explained to him how high it was and that I had been put on medication. Rafal provided me with more advice over the phone on how to lower my blood pressure. He suggested that I should get a blood pressure monitor so I could check my readings three times a day. He also advised me to take the records to my next GP appointment, which I thought was a great idea.”
Rafal called Carol again a few days later to find out if her blood pressure was improving. Carol said: “I thought it was very nice of him to call, he was pleased to know that my blood pressure was improving and I was able to go for a slow walk. He was happy to know that I was keeping my blood pressure under control by using my own monitor, following advice from my GP, from him and advice in the booklet he gave me. He even left his telephone number asking to call him if I had any questions.
“I would definitely recommend this service to everyone. Appointments are very easy to book and Health Check advisors are really friendly people! Appointments are very informative and everything is very easy to understand. Since my health check I realised how important it is to look after myself and my health, so I would strongly suggest to everyone to book their NHS Health Check appointment.”