Funding found for mini health assessments in May

The highly successful mini health assessment drop in bus for people living on the Fylde Coast has been extended again thanks to the impact it is having on patients and preventing ill health.

The health assessment bus was introduced in March as a way to clear backlogs of people who were reluctant to make an appointment for a health check-up with their GP practice during the pandemic. It was intended as a temporary service for just one month but having seen over 1,300 in March it was extended into April. During April the bus has seen nearly 1,000 more people and feedback from patients has been to praise the service highly – so much so that commissioners have found a way to pay for the bus for another month.

Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, a Blackpool GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “We have heard from lots of patients who feel the bus has had an impact on preventing poor health. From those that have noticed high blood pressure and been able to seek advice from their GP practice to one patient who says they have stopped using their hearing aid because the ear syringing has helped so much. We can’t ignore that kind of success and we are happy to have found funding to extend for another month.”

In April the bus has seen another 909 people on top of the 1,300 that visited in March. The majority of those have had their ears syringed having applied oil to their ears for a few days before hand to help soften the ear wax.

Amanda Ardron, head of primary care support for the providers of the health assessment bus, Fylde Coast Medical Services (FCMS) said: “We have been really pleased with the response from patients who come to the bus. There’s usually only a short wait and then they have their weight, blood pressure, heart rate and lung health checked. We are able to advise then if everything is as it should be or, in a handful of cases, pass details on to the patient’s GP practice for follow-up if there is something that just needs monitoring.

“Given we only expected to see maybe 500 people in the first month we’ve been exceptionally busy. Surprisingly though we can still see more people, the afternoons are usually much quieter than the mornings so anyone who still hasn’t stopped by for a health check can still come and be seen with no fuss.”

The mini health assessment bus will be in ten locations in May starting this Sunday at Over Wyre Medical Centre. The locations are:

  • Sunday 1 May 9am -5pm: Over Wyre Medical Centre FY6 0FA
  • Saturday 7 May 9am -7pm: Garstang Medical Centre PR3 1PB
  • Monday 9 May 9am-7pm: Red Lion pub, Bispham FY2 0AR
  • Tuesday 10 May 9am -7pm: Morrisons, Squires Gate Blackpool FY4 2AY
  • Saturday 14 May 9am -7pm: Affinity Fleetwood FY7 6AE
  • Monday 16 May 9am -7pm: Waters Edge, St Annes FY8 3RG
  • Saturday 21 May 9am -7pm: St Marys School, Great Eccleston PR3 0JZ
  • Wednesday 25 May 9am-7pm: Morrisons, Cleveleys FY5 3TS
  • Sunday 29 May 9am -5pm: Tesco Extra, Clifton Retail Park FY4 4UJ.
  • Monday 30 May 9am-7pm: Waters Edge, St Annes FY8 3RG