A day in the life of Katie…

I have been working for the Somerset NHS Health Checks programme for over three years now. In that time, I have travelled the county to provide NHS Health Checks in varied and diverse locations. I have been to libraries, a leisure centre, village halls and even the centre of Taunton!

The NHS Health Checks are thirty minute appointments with a Health Check Practitioner such as myself. In that time, we will check your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, blood sugars and BMI. We also ask some family history and lifestyle questions. The computer will then calculate your risk score, which is discussed with you. We explain all of your results to you and give you a printed copy for your reference. Your results will also be sent to your GP surgery for you.

Over the past two years I have also taken a lead on engaging local workplaces on behalf of the Somerset NHS Health Checks team. This involves me contacting workplaces to offer them the NHS Health Checks on site. Through this part of my role I’ve managed to engage the fire service, police service and the NHS trusts, as well as lots of the council staff. It’s wonderful to be able to give something back to all the people who spend their time keeping us all safe.

I love attending the workplace events, and not just because I’m nosey! These checks are often the most worthwhile ones as we get participants who normally would not attend health appointments.

In recent times my role has changed quite significantly. The whole team are working from home as part of our response to Covid-19, which means no clinic time and lots of admin time. As a team we are people oriented, rather than computer oriented, so this has been a bit of a shock to the system. However, we have managed to take on roles that play to our strengths and are getting involved in some quite creative tasks.

A recent role I have taken on is leading on our referral generation and online marketing activity, meaning I am responsible for our social media presence. I have met some very creative members of the Thrive Tribe team from all over the country, who have all been very supportive and friendly. We share suggestions and ideas over WhatsApp and Zoom, as well as having a laugh along the way.

Although we cannot provide the NHS Health Checks at the moment, we still want to be there for the residents of Somerset and support them through these unprecedented times. I have been posting regular updates on our Facebook page about the importance of health and wellbeing, as well as some wonderful local services that can help with this. We are very lucky in this county not only to have beautiful scenery and historic monuments, but to also have some very passionate and caring support services.

Despite enjoying new and varied tasks, I am looking forward to getting back to providing the Health Checks. We’ve been busy working on a lot of ways to hit the ground running and make the Somerset NHS Health Checks better than ever!