Raising awareness and encouraging heart checks
Diseases of the circulatory system and heart account for approximately 198,000 deaths every year, with coronary heart disease accounting for around half of all deaths. A Practice Based Commissioning Group asked us to develop their role as the lead health improvement commissioning group and support a social marketing approach that would create awareness of coronary heart disease and encourage people to have “heart checks” in community settings in a deprived locality.
Our first task was to gain a full understanding of local planning and implementation of the National Cardio Vascular Disease Screening Programme to ensure that we complimented it and used a consistent brand. It also enabled us test out successful interventions prior to implementation. The development of the local products involved adapting national campaigns to local circumstances and audiences.
Patients and staff from two general practices were trained in social marketing, community research methodology and best practice approaches.
Audience insight was gathered and a series of mixed media products were developed and tested across target audiences to encourage action around health checks. GP practice computer systems were interrogated to identify patients who had not had a recent blood pressure measurement.
Community members were trained to carry out simple screening and to deliver messages in a variety of community settings.