A series of health checks events run at Wetherspoons pubs across South Wales have led to hundreds of people at risk of cardiovascular disease being referred to see a GP or pharmacist.
The campaign – run by the Mayberry Pharmacy in conjunction with the Wetherspoons pub chain – screened around 800 pub-goers in all, and found 29% of the men and 15% of the women had high blood pressure.
Around a quarter of the men and women smoked and an equal proportion of each group were obese.
Of the men with high blood pressure, 12% had severely high readings. None of the women had severely high blood pressure and 7% had mildly raised levels, but 20% of women who were under the age of 30 had mildly raised levels.
The campaign was led by pharmacists who checked the participants’ lifestyles and weight as well as blood pressure and advised them to go to their GP or pharmacist if they were found to be at risk.
A spokesperson for Mayberry Pharmacy told Pulse the events were well received, with only a small minority of people who were approached declining to take part.
The spokesperson said: ‘What the exact uptake was I’m not sure but anecdotally the feedback was hugely positive.
‘People tended to say, “Great, love the fact you’re here and it’s only a couple of minutes”.’
The findings come as the national NHS Health Checks programme in England is struggling to reach enough of the target population aged 40-75, with less than half of people invited actually attending and calls for different approaches to ensure better uptake among hard-to-reach groups.
Paul Mayberry, managing director of Mayberry Pharmacy, said: ‘The whole purpose of this campaign in partnership with Wetherspoons was to make it easier for people to learn about their health and identify any problems.
‘We know that conditions such as high blood pressure affect thousands of people in Wales, yet very few are aware of the problem or will visit their local pharmacy or GP. By offering these health services in places where people do find it comfortable to be, we are helping save more lives.’