Private and confidential health checks for farmers and their families take place on the last Friday of every month, between 9am and 1.30pm at North West Auctions Limited in Lancaster.
The sessions were started in 2019 to give farmers and their families living in rural and isolated communities easier access to health care. The sessions were postponed during the Covid pandemic but were restarted in July 2021.
Since the health checks began 543 blood pressure and pulse checks, 56 full NHS checks, and 60 conversations around mental health have been carried out.
The sessions have highlighted undiagnosed hypertension (high blood pressure) and atrial fibrillation (a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate) in several attendees. Those diagnosed are now on medications to treat their conditions and have regular check-ups at the sessions.
The rural health checks are an Integrated Care Community (ICC) led initiative supported by partners such as Quit Squad, Adullam (a charity which supports vulnerable individuals and people who are on the margins of society) and Choose Health.
Feedback from attendees has included:
“Thank you so much. I wouldn’t have realised I had this condition if it wasn’t for the health checks.”
Sarah Baines, Development Lead for Lancaster ICC, said: “Our rural health checks are always really busy. Our farmers and their families really do show their gratitude for the support they are receiving.
“We’ve had some really important conversations with our farmers around health and wellbeing and with their families including conversations around menopause with farmer’s wives.
“We have picked up lots of undiagnosed and untreated health issues such as mental health, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation which shows why these sessions are so important to the rural community in Lancaster.”
The next rural health check will be held on Friday 30 September between 9am and 1.30pm at North West Auctions Limited, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, LA1 3JQ. The session will be attended by Choose Health, a not-for-profit company with the aim of delivering high-quality healthcare services to the communities in Lancashire and beyond.