Hundreds of shoppers bag a free Mini NHS Health Check at Templars Square

A day of free Mini NHS Health Checks could be repeated after shoppers at Templars Square signed up in their droves.

Nearly 150 people put themselves through the mini ‘road test’, designed to help spot early warnings of stroke, kidney and heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Templars Square manager Owen Acland said it was a brilliant example of the shopping centre connecting with its community and encouraging people to look after themselves.

NHS Health Checks are funded by Oxfordshire County Council’s Public Health team, which exists to improve the health of local people and protect them from preventable health issues – helping local residents live safe and healthy lives and play an active role in their communities.

The hundreds of people who signed up for the mini checks were entered into a raffle to win shopping centre vouchers worth £50 or a month’s free membership at the centre’s Feel Fit Gym, Oxford.

The shopping vouchers were won by Duncan Clamp, from Abingdon Road, Oxford. Jodie Baker, from Garsington, who works at the centre’s Boots store, claimed the month’s free gym membership.

Promoting healthy lives

Owen said he was keen to explore the possibility of a repeat event with the council’s Public Health team after seeing how much the community welcomed the event.

He said: “Saturdays are generally our busiest day so it was a great opportunity to reach out to the community and promote healthy lives. We were absolutely delighted to see how many of our shoppers wanted to take us up on the offer of a free Mini Health Check.

“The importance of NHS Health Checks cannot be underestimated and this was a great way for us to help raise awareness and help the local community stay fit and healthy.”

Since 2013 more than 190,000 health check invitations have been sent out in Oxfordshire, with 95,485 taking up the offer (50.4 per cent).

They are free and available to anyone aged between 40 and 74 who has not already been diagnosed with an existing cardiovascular condition.

Your GP surgery will automatically send out invitations once every five years, but if you haven’t had one, or didn’t respond to the invite, contact your surgery and make an appointment.

The full check will take around 20 minutes:

  • You will be asked some simple questions about your family history, whether or not you smoke and how much alcohol you drink
  • Your height, weight, sex, ethnicity and age will be recorded
  • Your blood pressure will be taken
  • A simple blood test will check your cholesterol level
  • Your body mass index (BMI) will be calculated. BMI is a measure of whether you're a healthy weight for your height.
  • Your level of risk of developing a cardiovascular condition (i.e. stroke, kidney and heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and dementia) will be calculated

Cllr Lawrie Stratford, Cabinet member for Public Health, said: “Health checks are a brilliant way for people to get an overview of their general health and a fast, effective method of finding out if there are some simple things they could be doing to improve their long-term health and wellbeing.”

For further information about free NHS Health Checks visit: www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/nhshealthcheck