A PROJECT to prevent heart disease and strokes, the biggest killers in Solihull, has been up and running in the borough a whole year before the government announced its plans for a nationwide prevention policy to offer screening to all adults.
Over 300 patients from two Solihull GP practices, Craig Croft and Manor House Lane, have already been screened as part of the project. Suitable patients were identified from GP electronic records and were invited to attend the practice to have their blood pressure and cholesterol levels tested by a pharmacist specialising in heart disease and stroke prevention.
Mr Michael Caley, Specialist in Public Health at Solihull NHS Care Trust said: "The project has been a great success to date with many patients who are in need of treatment being identified.
"Over half of all patients who have been seen have started treatment for raised blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Everyone who is part of the project is given lifestyle advice on diet, exercise, smoking and healthy eating".
The success of the project, a collaborative between Solihull NHS Care Trust and Dr Tom Marshall of University of Birmingham, has led Solihull NHS Care Trust to expand it to include all practices across the north of the borough. Clinics will be starting at Kingshurst Practice, Bosworth Medical Centre and The Castle Practice within the next few months.
Dr. Marshall adds: "The beauty of this approach is that we do not have to screen everybody to find those most in need of treatment. The electronic records allow us to focus efforts where they will have the most effect."
Dr Victor Sagoo, Senior GP Partner at Manor House Lane surgery said: "We have been very impressed with the uptake from our patients for this clinic and our patients are more than happy to see a specialist pharmacist. This service has greatly improved the clinical care we offer in our surgery."
A patient of Dr Sagoo's said: "It's nice to know that someone is caring and looking after your health."