Turning to tech to improve residents’ health
Residents can now find it easier to book a free NHS health check after a pilot scheme in Barking and Dagenham has been expanded across the borough.
Health-tech company, Appt Health, has teamed up with Barking and Dagenham Council to develop software that matches available GP appointments at 16 surgeries with patients, sending automated text messages that to people to choose a suitable time and date.
The system was tested in two GP practices in the borough last year and showed an increase in uptake of the free health check-ups, which are designed to spot the early signs of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
The appointments are available to adults in England between the ages of 40 and 74.
Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration, said: “These health checks are an important way to find out if you might be a risk of any health issues, and receive advice on how to make changes to your lifestyle before it becomes more serious.
“We have already seen success in the technology being used in this way, so we believe by extending this and allowing more people to book these appointments by text it will mean more people use available appointments.”
The NHS health check scheme, which launched across the country in 2009, currently has an uptake rate of 52.6 per cent in the borough. The Public Health England target is 66 per cent.
The GP surgeries involved in the app:
- Ripple Road Medical Centre
- Oval Road Practice
- Heathway Medical Centre
- Parkview Medical Centre
- Prime Practice Partnership Ltd
- The White House Surgery
- The Green House Surgery
- Becontree Medical Centre
- Church Elm Lane Medical Practice
- King Edwards
- Barking Medical Group Practice
- Halbutt Street Surgery
- Victoria Medical Centre
- John Smith Medical Centre
- Hedgemans Medical Practice