New Year – New You:  Free health check at Sittingbourne

Shoppers can take advantage of a free NHS health check at the Forum Shopping Centre, Sittingbourne, on Friday 9 January. There is no need to book – just turn up between 10am and 2pm.

It is part of NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group’s touring Beats and Breathes roadshow. A team of nurses and health trainers will be on hand to take visitors’ pulse and blood pressure and check their weight and height. There will be suggestions on healthy eating, easy exercises to keep the body fit and advice on how to quit smoking.

Organiser Emily Baxter said: “One of the best New Year resolutions you can make to yourself is to promise to look after your own health. Taking a free 20-minute health MOT works just like a car MOT. It can spot an area of concern in time to avoid more serious health problems later which may need hospital treatment.

“In particular, high blood pressure can be a sign of heart or kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension which can drastically alter a person’s life. Most people will find they are surprisingly fit and will welcome a clean bill of health. But if there are any unexpected results we will suggest a visit to a GP who can arrange further tests for peace of mind.”

Emily added: “Poor diet, smoking, drinking too much and doing little or no exercise can lead to long-term health conditions. But making a small lifestyle change now, like giving up smoking, cutting down on alcohol or joining a walking group, can make a big difference to your health in the future.”

Every person tested gets their own health MOT “certificate” with their results and any guidance needed.

  • Beats and Breathes, Forum Shopping Centre, Sittingbourne, ME10 3DL, Friday, 9 January, 10am to 2pm. The event is in collaboration with Kent Community Health NHS Trust and Medway Community Healthcare.



Stay healthy: Swale’s Beats and Breathes team is staging a free “while-u-wait” health MOT at the Forum Shopping Centre, Sittingbourne on Friday 9 January.




Notes to editors:

The MOT checks pulse, blood pressure, height and weight and includes a breathing test. It normally takes 20-30 minutes. Health Trainers can also give advice on smoking status, alcohol consumption and exercise.

Swale has the highest rate of diabetes in Kent, along with Thanet, at 6.6 per cent of the adult population. There are 5,459 people diagnosed with diabetes in Swale but doctors estimate another 503 are still unaware they have the condition.

Swale patients also have the highest rate of emergency admissions of diabetes-related complications in Kent.

Symptoms can include feeling thirsty, needing to use the loo frequently - particularly at night, feeling very tired, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and cuts taking a longer time to heal. However, not everyone with diabetes has symptoms.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition which increases blood glucose (sugar) to dangerous levels. Left untreated, it can lead to other serious health problems including heart disease, nerve damage, blindness and amputations.

Doctors are concerned that too few are taking up the offer of a free NHS health check for the over-40s and stress people should attend for their own peace of mind.


NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Swale Clinical Commissioning Group was formed on 1 April, 2013 after primary care trusts were abolished as part of a major reorganisation of the NHS. It is led by local GPs and other health professionals and has a £121 million annual budget to spend on the area’s population of 106,570.


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