The NHS health checks programme aims to reduce avoidable cardiovascular deaths, disability and health inequalities in England. But lower uptake of screening in some black and minority ethnic communities, who are recognised as being more at risk of cardiovascular disease, could mean that NHS health checks may increase inequalities in health.
Dr Jeremy Horwood, Senior Research Fellow at CLAHRC West, has recently published findings from a study which aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of conducting NHS health checks in community venues, targeted at the Afro-Caribbean community. This ethnographic study included direct observation of four outreach events in four different community venues in inner-city Bristol, and follow-up semi-structured interviews with attendees and staff.
The study provides evidence of how local health partnerships, between voluntary and community sector partners and GP practices, and community assets, including informal networks, can enhance the delivery of outreach NHS health checks and in promoting the health of targeted communities.
CLAHRC West is continuing to examine how to enhance uptake of NHS health checks in targeted communities by evaluating the use of telephone outreach. Through in-depth interviews, this research will explore patients’ and outreach workers’ views and experiences of telephone outreach approaches for NHS health checks in Bristol.