Dave backs healthy heart checks

Posted on in Community services, Health improvement

Dave Speight is a busy man. He is sales director for IPL on Portrack Lane in Stockton. He works long hours, many of them on the road and only visits his GP when he knows he’s unwell.

But Dave received ‘a wake-up call’ after the company arranged a free healthy heart check run by the local NHS cardiovascular screening service.

Dave Speight at his desk at IPL on Portrack Lane, StocktonThe nurses who checked Dave suggested he contact his GP for further advice. Dave duly did so and the GP, who has known Dave for 30 years, was shocked at his cholesterol level, remarking that he thought he was looking at figures from someone who was facing a serious heart attack.

Dave, 55 and from Leeds, thought for his age he was ‘well’. He plays tennis regularly, has never smoked, and has rarely called upon his GP. But Dave recalls that his father had a fatal heart attack aged 57, and Dave’s GP informed him that some of the data from the check indicated a hereditary condition.

Dave is now on medication to reduce his cholesterol level and he is a lot more mindful about his diet. He said “I’ve had opportunities to attend GP ‘well-man’ clinics, but always given the excuse of being too busy, or felt as if I’d be wasting his time if I went, but this is a massive wake-up call.

“I can’t thank the screening service enough for offering this service to businesses such as IPL and also to Colin Wilson and Val Fitzgibbon at IPL for encouraging us all to take up the opportunity.

“If anyone else who sees themselves in my situation and has the chance of a free healthy heart check, take up the offer. I’m ever so glad I did.”

Speaking to employers, Gareth Harding, CVD screening co-ordinator with South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said “To qualify for healthy heart screening sessions for your staff, they need to be aged 40+, not have had a similar check in the last five years and not have a diagnosis of any on-going cardiovascular disease/illnesses. The screening sessions are approximately 30 minutes each. To discuss if the service is able to visit organisations interested in holding a screening session call me on 01287 284491 or email me at gareth.harding@tees.nhs.uk”