To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Acting Director of Public Health that outlines the background to the health check services, details the current service provision and discusses the options for future service delivery
Ms K Sharp, Head of Public Health Commissioning, was in attendance for this item.
1. Ms Sharp introduced the report and said that, when public health services had transferred from the NHS to the County Council, the Council had inherited some services which were underperforming. The Health Checks programme was one such service. Although both the rate of invitation and the take-up rate were now improving, the aim was to seek much more improvement in the future. Ms Sharp and Mr Scott-Clark responded to comments and questions from Members and the following points were highlighted:-
a) the health checks programme was aimed at people aged 40 and over who were not already receiving treatment from a GP for an existing condition. If they were diagnosed with a condition and started treatment with a GP they would automatically be deleted from the health checks programme. Concern was expressed about people who might ‘slip through the net’;
b) although Public Health England had raised the targets for the number of health checks undertaken, Mr Scott-Clark said he was confident that the health checks programme could reach 95% of the population. There was a need to increase public understanding about the role of the health checks programme, and it was important that all possible efforts be made to reduce the death rate from cardiovascular diseases;
c) when asked, very few Members of the Committee said they had yet been invited to a health check, but Mr Scott-Clark assured them that the programme was still in its early stages and that each person would receive an invitation every five years, when their age reached 60, 65, 70, 75, etc.;
d) concern was expressed that the programme was unrealistic and difficult to administer. Ms Sharp pointed out that the County Council was not satisfied with the current performance and was seeking substantial improvement; this was why the service was currently being reviewed;
e) the County Council currently contracted the management of the programme in West Kent to KCHT and would work with them to improve take-up of the service, using the levers it had in its contract. KCHT also had a responsibility to deliver the programme where GPs’ surgeries were unable to do so. Every option to improve take-up would be explored; and
f) the Chairman highlighted the importance of having such a programme of checks and said he had been impressed with the thoroughness of checks. He said that a check for dementia was also offered to everyone over the age of 50.
2. The Cabinet Member, Mr Gibbens, thanked Members for their comments and said he was very concerned that the health checks target had shown up as being rated red. The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, had expressed a wish that local authorities should promote take-up of the programme. He undertook to continue to monitor the performance closely.
3. RESOLVED that the current position of the programme be noted, and a further update report be considered at the Committee’s September ... view the full minutes text for item 30