Sport, parks and leisure - Wellbeing Hub ramps up health services – launches blood pressure checks...
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15 Dec 2023

Wellbeing Hub ramps up health services – launches blood pressure checks
BY Kath Hudson

The initiative brings together exercise, health and prevention

The initiative brings together exercise, health and prevention
photo: Horizon Leisure/©Leisure Media

Horizon Leisure is upgrading and investing in its new shopping-centre health hub – The Wellbeing Hub in Havant, UK – by adding blood pressure checks to its list of services.

Writing in the latest issue of HCM, Mike Lyons, CEO of operator, Horizon Leisure, explains the background and impact of The Wellbeing Hub, which opened recently, saying it's a giant leap forward in the organisation's outreach programme, offering wellbeing opportunities in a familiar environment.

Funded through Havant Borough Council, The Wellbeing Hub is a drop-in centre offering small group exercise and exercise orientation programmes, along with free health checks. “It has already hosted a number of specialist community sessions – where a health club or leisure centre setting might be seen as more intimidating and unfamiliar to those new to exercise – including over 50s programmes and women-only circuit classes,” explains Lyons.

The blood pressure reading service is being offered from a new SurgeryPod within the Wellbeing Hub – people don’t need to make an appointment, they're able to easily self-test by inserting their arm into the unit and their results are fed back to their doctor via a secure system.

The installation has come about as part of NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme.

The project is an example of how health and fitness and leisure operators are deepening their collaboration with the health care sector and effectively navigating the complexities of doing so. It was coordinated by Health Innovation Wessex in a joined-up initiative with local doctor's surgeries, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board and the Hampshire Public Health team, which funded the SurgeryPod.

Doctors in Havant are inviting their patients to attend if they haven't had a blood pressure check for five years, to encourage them to take a preventative approach to their own cardiovascular health.

“The SurgeryPod is the next step in our joined-up approach to health and wellbeing," said Lyons. "We're well equipped to provide help and guidance on people’s overall wellness and this is a great alternative to trying to get an appointment at a doctor's surgery – plus our team of health experts is on hand should anyone require help or have questions. It takes the anxiety away from getting a blood pressure test.”

In time, the SurgeryPod – made by Microtech – will be able to also help people stop smoking, monitor weight management and deliver contraceptive pill reviews. The aim is to allow better use of clinical time and to provide a enhanced service for patients, allowing people to be empowered to monitor and achieve better health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the global health threat of high blood pressure recently, publishing its first-ever report on the "devastating global impact" of hypertension, along with recommendations on the ways to win the race against the condition.

The report, called Global report on hypertension: The race against a silent killer, shows how Hypertension affects one in three adults worldwide.

Despite being a common problem, approximately four out of every five people with hypertension are not adequately treated.

WHO estimates that if countries could scale up effective interventions, 76 million premature deaths could be averted between 2023 and 2050.

The organisation also calls for more emphasis to be placed on prevention, with physical activity a key part of the equation.

You can read more in our recent HCM news reporting on the WHO's hypertension initiative here.

If you're working at the junction of health and fitness and medicine and have projects or initiatives you'd like us to report on in HCM, we'd love to hear from you. Contact the team at [email protected].



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