Free NHS Health Kiosks dispatched in York to improve community health

Three ‘health kiosks’ are set to be rolled out in York as part of a ground-breaking initiative to improve the health of the city’s population. 

Free to use, the kiosks measure a person’s height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. 

People can then use the information and speak to a local pharmacist or make an appointment with their GP practice if they have any health concerns. 

The installation of the kiosks – which are about the size of a standard photo booth – is part of a collaboration between NHS Humber & North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Nimbuscare, together with healthya

They will be available for people to use from 20 March at: 

  • Morrisons Foss Islands, Foss Islands Road, York, YO31 7UR 
  • Tang Hall Community Centre, Fifth Avenue, York, YO31 0UG 
  • Energise Leisure Centre, Cornlands Road, York, YO24 3DX 

The aim of the initiative is to encourage people to monitor crucial health metrics, with a particular focus on detecting undiagnosed cases of high blood pressure, or hypertension. 

Hypertension rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases the risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes and even serious kidney disease. 

Peter Roderick, Director of Public Health for City of York Council, said: “It’s extremely common – probably one in three adults have it – and it’s responsible for more than half of all strokes and heart attacks. But it comes with no symptoms: in that sense it’s a silent killer.” 

Sarah Coltman-Lovell, the ICB’s Director for York, added: “Initiatives like these kiosks, which help you know if your blood pressure is healthy or not, are incredibly helpful, so that through lifestyle change and/or medication, you can get yourself back to a normal level. 

“We are excited to embark on this innovative project to empower our community members with the tools they need for proactive health management. 

“By placing these health kiosks in public locations, we hope to encourage individuals to prioritise their health and, in turn, reduce the overall risk of heart attacks and strokes in our community.” 

Prof Mike Holmes, Chair of Nimbuscare, said: “We are delighted to be working with partners on this community-based prevention service. It is an important step in gaining insight into York’s population health and anticipating any disorders in patients. We hope to continue collaboration and the implementation of similar initiatives.” 

Daniel Kimberling, Medical Director at Nimbuscare, added: “I encourage patients to take this opportunity to get more information about their health. If needed, there are treatments and lifestyle changes that can help them be healthier in the future. Working with the public health team and local pharmacies we hope to reach people who would have otherwise remained undiagnosed.”   

In Humber and North Yorkshire an estimated 157,000 people are thought to have undiagnosed hypertension. 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the second biggest killer in England, after dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. CVD causes a quarter of all deaths – which equates to around one death every four minutes – and is a leading cause of morbidity, disability and health inequalities. 

The health kiosks will serve as a valuable tool for people to monitor their health in convenient locations. By utilising these kiosks, individuals can take a proactive role in managing their well-being and potentially identify any signs of hypertension early on. 

Upon detection of high blood pressure readings, users will be seamlessly directed to their local pharmacy for further review and confirmation of any diagnosis. This pioneering approach leverages the convenience of community pharmacies, creating a seamless pathway for individuals to receive necessary follow-up care.