Pompey manager Guy Whittingham has a NHS health check - and urges fans to do the same

Mark Cubbon, the new chief executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

New chief executive for Queen Alexandra Hospital appointed

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THERE’S no denying that being the manager of a football club can be a stressful job.

So when Pompey boss Guy Whittingham stepped up for a free health check, he was slightly nervous about having his blood pressure measured.

Pompey manager Guy Whittingham has his health and blood pressure checked by Pamela Macpherson, manager of the Kingston Crescent Rowlands Pharmacy.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132893-3)

Pompey manager Guy Whittingham has his health and blood pressure checked by Pamela Macpherson, manager of the Kingston Crescent Rowlands Pharmacy.''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132893-3)

Thankfully, the 48-year-old had a normal reading, along with his other tests, which shows he has a 2.8 per cent chance of suffering a heart attack in the next 10 years.

Now Mr Whittingham is backing a campaign to ensure those eligible for a free NHS Health Check don’t miss their appointment.

He said: ‘I’m very happy with my result – although I’m not sure if my blood pressure reading would be higher an hour before a match.

‘But we all have stress and strains in our lives, and if you can have a free health check, then you should go.

‘The check doesn’t take long, and can reassure you everything is fine.’

The NHS Health Checks were introduced in 2009, and have now been rolled out across the country.

People aged between 40 to 74 who do not have any existing health problems, are invited to have a health check.

The appointment lasts around half an hour and things like blood pressure, cholesterol and your body mass index (BMI) is checked.

If there are any problems, you are referred to your GP.

If not, you are invited for another test in five years’ time.

But the uptake has been low in Portsmouth.

Between April and June this year, Portsmouth City Council sent out 1,970 invitations via GPs.

But only 13.6 per cent – 268 – people attended.

On average 42 per cent who attend are male.

Amanda McKenzie, health checks manger, said: ‘We run tests to see how at risk someone is from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.

‘Men are worse for getting checked, so we really want to encourage them to come along.’

In the most deprived Portsmouth areas, men live on average to 75.4 years old, compared to women, who are expected to live to 83.1 years.