Out of hours health provider launches CHECK campaign

Health provider Shropdoc has launched a campaign dedicated to supporting and engaging communities across Shropshire and Mid Wales.

The CHECK campaign urges everyone to check on their neighbours and community to ensure a support network - especially for those living in rural areas.

The Christmas and New Year period is a time when out of hours providers - and the health sector as a whole - face significant demand.

Dr Simon Chapple said: “Checking on your neighbours and ensuring they have repeat prescriptions to carry them through the holiday period and making sure they know the correct services to contact if they have a long-term condition that may worsen can play a huge part in supporting communities.

“At a time when many are struggling with energy bills, it is also important to check that those living around you are prepared for Winter and dropping temperatures.”

The CHECK campaign urges people to Care for those around them, Help anyone that may need assistance, understand that Everyone can provide support, be Consistent in their checks and Keep communities connected.

“Although simply checking in with others and reminding them about getting prescriptions and having the right contact information available seems trivial it can have a really big impact,” adds Dr Chapple.

“And it can be life-saving if people are struggling with energy bills and are cold in their own homes. You do not have to be freezing to develop hypothermia, Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature and I diagnosed a patient with hypothermia during the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June.”

The CHECK campaign has been launched to reduce pressure on out-of-hours services over the festive period but plans are to continue the campaign into 2023 to ensure a continued support system.

“During the COVID lockdowns, we saw an outpouring of support for neighbours and communities coming together to support each other. We would like that to continue,” said Dr Chapple.

“Some things that are really simple for some of us, such as picking up a prescription, can be more difficult for others. A lot of the time people think about the elderly in these situations but many single parents experience problems due to childcare and full-time workers can often find collecting prescriptions difficult during opening times.”