The East London Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Group (ELoPE) works with multiple agencies across north east London to reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the community. We are delighted that a project we funded enabling the ELoPE team to provide CVD checks for Barts Health staff has been nominated for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) award and Nursing Times Workforce award.
Quick and convenient
In order to be as convenient as possible, the checks are carried out at all of the Barts Health hospitals and office sites. Checks are carried out by a specialist cardiology nurse, and take only 15-20 minutes maximum, so they can be easily slotted into a busy day. Staff members learn their blood pressure, body mass index and their heart age score. These checks highlight people with unknown or uncontrolled high blood pressure as well as abnormal heart rhythm. If high blood pressure is found during the appointment, a free blood pressure machine is offered to allow further monitoring at home and then follow-up by the ELoPE team will determine whether a GP referral is needed.
Since the team started carrying out the checks in March 2021, over 500 staff have been screened. Of those, 55 have been followed up for high blood pressure and 22 have been referred to their GPs. One of those people who was referred was Abimbola, who works in the Barts Health Finance team.
“I’m glad that I attended the staff health check. I’m taking more actions with my diet and exercise to improve my health overall. And all of this came about because I attended the health check, so I think it’s a very good initiative that’s very beneficial to staff.”Abimbola, Barts Health Finance team
According to an evaluation survey, the effect of the checks has been significant not just on staff health and lifestyle, but also on how they feel as a Barts Health staff member.
- 76% said the check made them more prone to increase their physical activity
- 88% said they were motivated to improve their diet
- 79% said the provision of the service made them feel more valued as an employee
Addressing health inequalities
The checks are available to all staff, but so far 84% of those checked are nurses/midwives, allied health professionals or admin/clerical staff. Of the screened group so far, 69% are women and over 60% are people from ethnic minority backgrounds. This is significant because people from ethnic minority backgrounds are more at risk of CVD and it is especially underdiagnosed in women.
“At the ELoPE team we are passionate about improving cardiovascular health in north east London, and that is an area where many Barts Health staff live. The project combines meeting a staff need with improving health outcomes and addressing health inequalities and we are all delighted with the recognition which the HSJ Award and Nursing Times Workforce Award nominations bring.”CVD Nurse Marie Manceau, one of the project leads