Over 400 visitors to Birmingham’s Vaisakhi celebrations in Handsworth Park took the opportunity to undergo a potentially life-saving health ‘MOT’.
And health bosses have hailed the record-breaking NHS Health Check initiative as ‘a public health triumph’.
An army of NHS staff volunteers and Birmingham Public Health staff carried out the free checks throughout the day to identify patients at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
The team completed over 400 checks and Dr Sukhdev Singh, a GP at Bellevue Medical Centre, who worked with Birmingham Public Health to co-ordinate the initiative, said: “The response was fantastic and we were busy throughout the day.
“Previous mass events have managed to see around 100 people (often without key blood testing) and we managed to see four times as many on Sunday with full blood tests, so it was a very worthwhile project.
“We helped a number of people identify potential health problems and now they have the chance to make positive changes to their lifestyles.
“We targeted this event because we know that a large proportion of the South Asian population do not visit their GP for preventative health care. This was an opportunity to pick up disease at an early stage and offer interventions in a bid to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes.”
Feedback taken on exit was hugely positive, such as ‘good advice, great service very helpful’ and ‘very good tests, excellent information and friendly people, thanks’, ‘good way to get the health check’, ‘brilliant service, wake up call for Sikhs to look after their health’.
Now Dr Singh plans to evaluate Sunday’s checks with a view to carrying out similar mass screenings at other large community events in Birmingham, such as the Moseley Jazz festival in July and Eid Mela.