Sandwell Council partners with Randox Health to launch free health checks service
Published 7th March 2023
Thousands of eligible Sandwell residents are being offered diagnostic NHS Health Checks to detect any early signs of diabetes, heart and kidney disease and hypertension.
The early identification of individuals with the potential to develop these conditions will enable the NHS to intervene and, in many cases, prevent the onset of potentially life-changing and life-threatening illnesses.
In a pioneering initiative, the Sandwell tests and online self-assessment provision will be provided by a partnership comprising the council’s Healthy Sandwell team, the NHS and diagnostics company Randox Health – whose tests and clinics will be used to facilitate the innovative testing. Tests and clinics will be available for Sandwell residents in both Sandwell and, if convenient, in Birmingham.
The awarding of the contract to Randox Health to provide the tests follows an open tender process by Sandwell Council. The company has demonstrated success in providing 17 million PCR tests to NHS Test and Trace during the Covid-19 pandemic, helping prevent thousands of hospitalisations and deaths in the UK.
Free tests will be offered to Sandwell residents aged between 40 and 74 who have not previously suffered coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes or kidney disease. Each will, in the next few weeks, begin receiving letters inviting them to the 20-minute NHS check, with branding from Randox, Healthy Sandwell and the NHS. The letter will include a link to the Randox website through which the tests can be booked.
Sandwell residents who have not yet received a GP letter and believe they are eligible can visit the Randox website to take an eligibility check and then book their own appointment.
Tests will be carried out by specially trained staff at a number of community pop-up clinics in locations in Sandwell such as leisure centres and community spaces, aiming to reach those most at risk of having an undiagnosed serious illness.
Tests for Sandwell residents will also be available at Randox Health’s Birmingham Clinic (39-40 High Street, B4 7SL).
Test results will be made available to GPs for inclusion on patient medical records through Health Diagnostics Ltd, a third-party provider. Randox will hold none of the data from the test results.
Not only will the testing programme enable prevention and mitigation through the early identification of serious illness, it will also allow lifestyle modification on issues including smoking, alcohol and weight management.
Councillor Suzanne Hartwell, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care & Health, said: “The good health of our residents has always been a priority for the Council. This initiative will have a significant and beneficial impact on the health and longevity of thousands of people living in the area. It will enable those at high risk to take medical and lifestyle steps to prevent illnesses which could, if not detected early, shorten or change lives.”
David Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer for Randox Health said: “Randox is delighted to be part of this joint initiative with Sandwell Council’s Public Health Team. It has long been our belief that early diagnostic health testing delivers better outcomes for individuals. It relieves the pressure on our NHS by enabling lifestyle change and medical intervention. This, in turn, prevents or mitigates illnesses which would otherwise require intense long-term treatment.”
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