Agenda item

Heart Health Plan and Campaign - Kay Mann


Members welcomed Kay Mann from Public Health to the meeting to give an update on the Heart Health Plan and campaign.


K Mann leads on cancer prevention and heart health. There is a high-level strategy in place for heart health across the borough and an alliance has been set up with partners to prevent heart attacks, strokes, angina, and high blood pressure.


Primary care and pharmacies will be managing these after an initial referral from the team, but the vision is to prevent and improve heart health through early detection. 80% of heart attacks and strokes are avoidable through health improvement changes such as smoking, healthy diet, moving more and drinking less alcohol.


In Barnsley there are 36,000 people with heart issues and 55 of these result in death in each month. 44 of these could be avoided and St Helen is the worst ward for emergency admissions for heart attacks and deaths from heart disease. More needs to be done with a targeted approach to reduce health inequalities as many people are leaving it too late before getting help. This often leads to long term disabilities and death.


The time between the initial symptom of a stroke and presenting at hospital is 15 hours in the Barnsley area, in other areas it is 2 hours. The specific drug which can help with a stroke needs to be administered within 4.5 hours, so many are leaving it too long for intervention. People who are experiencing a stroke do not want to attend A&E or call an ambulance but, in these instances, calling an ambulance is the best option as this can determine the treatment and where it is administered.


The biggest risk factor is blood pressure, and the team are working with GPs to identify which patients have their blood pressure information missing from their records. They are concentrating on men from the Dearne and North and are working with local pharmacies to refer on for support. So far from the 2 sessions carried out in the North, 20 people from the 56 who attended have been referred on for further investigation.  There is a session coming up shortly in Athersley and the team are trying to set something up at Asda, Old Mill Lane. Anyone who is picked up as having an elevated blood pressure reading is referred onto a pharmacy and can be fitted with a monitor.


The health check service is re-starting, and this will help people who need the most support. This comes from the public health budget and provides support to those over 40 and checks a number of things including height, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. They want to concentrate on quality over quantity and there is extra funding available to embed this in communities by training people who offer other one to one service, e.g., hairdressers. There are resources in place to target men in deprived areas such as beer mats for pubs and working men’s clubs and additional resources in the form of posters and leaflets. Additionally, the team are available to pull people in and do on the spot checks, at they are aware how hard it is to get into a GP. It was clarified that the team will explore visiting community centres, coffee mornings and Dementia Café’s and are leaving leaflets in shops.


Members discussed the Cancer Research bus in the town centre and stated that it found obesity to be a problem, but that people were waiting a long time to be referred by the GP to BPL, sometimes 2-3 months and were losing motivation by this time. K Mann clarified that BPL do have a waiting list, but it is not as long as 2-3 months. Additionally, in regard to the new health model there is a focus on keeping the momentum going by providing all support face to face with a prompt follow up. The new team within GP surgeries which includes care coordinators and health, and wellbeing coaches are part of this. Furthermore, resources are being taken out into the community for rapid results.


Members stated that they are worried about the lack of access to GP’s and as time goes by it is getting worse. K Mann acknowledged that it is hard to get into a GP, but that people need to preserver and that the public need to be encouraged to do this. One Member stated that he had witnessed a person in incredible pain trying to access a GP appointment to be told one is not available, after some time an appointment was offered but with a healthcare practitioner and not a GP. They are worried that this is systematic and that surgeries are run by agencies where you see a nurse practitioner and not a GP.


K Mann acknowledged that a GP is not always best placed to deal with medical issues, for example it may be a diabetic nurse with specialist training who provides support to manage a condition. However, Members noted that there is a triage system in place but that receptionists are doing this with a queue of people in front of them instead of in private and this is problematic. It was clarified that not all people are experiencing these issues and are getting to see a GP. However, some people are turning up at A&E as they believe they cannot see a GP.


The idea is for the service to fill a gap and target a huge number of people, Public Health are well placed to do this. The aim is to reduce the pressure on the NHS and help people before they require an ambulance.  Oly using A&E provision as a last resort.  It was clarified that if something is found by the team there are protocols which become active to support the person moving forward. However, it is important to note that this service is in addition to regular support and any other issues require exploring with the GP.


On Wednesday 20th July there is an event for blood pressure checks in Mapplewell and Cllr Hunt will try to attend to support and promote the service.

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