Suffolk’s largest independent leisure provider, Abbeycroft Leisure, is now offering NHS Health Checks in three of their west Suffolk leisure centres.

The scheme is being run as a 12-month pilot at Bury St. Edmunds, Haverhill and Mildenhall leisure centres and is aimed at anyone who is eligible.

An NHS Health Check is a world-leading prevention programme with almost 1.5 million people having the check every year. It’s a health check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74 designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions, so an NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.

Matt Hickey, Health & Wellbeing Manager at Abbeycroft Leisure said:

“We’re extremely pleased to be offering free NHS Health Checks at our centres, which is another great example of partnership working for the benefit of the community.”

“The health checks take about twenty minutes and the data and results are uploaded securely to the customer’s GP, but importantly, it gives us an opportunity to offer personalised advice about diet, smoking, medication and of course we’re also able to provide expert advice on the benefits of building physical activity into someones lifestyle.”

Cllr Andrew Reid, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection, said:

“Around 45,000 people in Suffolk are eligible for an NHS health check each year. In the past these checks were mostly offered through GP practices, however this pilot scheme to offer these checks through local leisure centres and other local facilities, aims to make them much more accessible to people in the community.

“By increasing access to the NHS Health Check, I hope that more people will be able to take up the offer of the check which will support healthier behaviour changes and prevent conditions such as Cardiovascular Disease.”

Cllr Jo Rayner, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs at West Suffolk Council, which owns the leisure centres, said,

“Our priority for healthy families and communities has guided significant investment in our leisure centres and in collaboration with health partners. These health checks are carried out by trained Abbeycroft staff in dedicated rooms and the results uploaded securely.

“The benefits of offering more locations and easy access to preventative health checks means that you don’t need to wait for an invitation to attend, although you may receive one, but you can book online or call our contact team on 01284 757473.”

 Jamie Farlie, one of the first people to have an NHS Health Check at Abbeycroft said:

“I’m 41 and have put on a bit of weight, so for peace of mind I decided to get a health check because I think you need to look after yourself when you reach a certain age. The process to book in at the leisure centre was really easy and it was all very straightforward.”

“Although my overall results were great, there was a red flag on one of my cholesterol readings, which I’ve since been able to get checked further and it’s all fine, but that’s the whole point of these preventative checks so I’m very glad I went.”

Abi Britten from Haverhill said:

“I decided to have my NHS Health Check done at the leisure centre because parking is free, its easy to get to and local to me so it made perfect sense. I’d actually never heard about these NHS health checks before so it was good to have one done so quickly.”

Find out more and book your free NHS Health Check here.

[Images of Abi Britten and Jamie Farlie having their health checks with Abbeycroft Practitioners. Credit Phil Morley Photography and Abbeycroft].

Jamie Farlie NHS Check
Jamie Farlie and instructor
Abi Britten and practitioner
Abi Britten having weight and height checked
Jamie Farlie having health check