Council and CCG staff are joined by Dr Newport, second left, and Derby Lord Mayor Fareed Hussain, far right, to Ramp up the Red.
Derby-based health and council workers wore their hearts on their sleeves on Friday (7 February) to encourage people to keep their tickers in tip-top shape.
Staff from Derby City Council and NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) backed the British Heart Foundation’s Ramp up the Red campaign by wearing eye-catching red gear and holding aloft a clutch of red balloons, some of which were inflated for free by Derby-based Balloon and Party Ideas.
Employees paid £1 each to fund research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of heart disease. They also had leaflets on display in private meeting rooms and public reception areas to promote simple but crucial messages about looking after a healthy heart.
And the two organisations are hoping that members of the public will see red too by visiting Ramp up the Red and pledging a donation.
The CCG and city council are supporting the campaign in recognition of the foundation’s designation of Derby as a Heart City in which special efforts are being made to stop people dying prematurely from heart disease.
Between 2008 and 2010, more than 1,140 Derby people died from heart disease - which is the largest cause of death in the UK. It affects young and old alike but the CCG insisted this week that it is never too late for people to strike back.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, which plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 people, said:
“Simple changes to lifestyle, such as giving up smoking, exercising more regularly, cutting down on fat, eating fruit, vegetables and less salt, can prevent, control or even reverse the killer effects of the disease.
“For Ramp up the Red Day, we’re also urging people aged 40 to 74 to ask their GP practice about an NHS Health Check that can pick up signs of fatal illnesses like heart disease early, aiding life-changing steps towards better heart health.”
Councillor Mark Tittley, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said:
“As a Heart City, we’re pleased to be taking part in BHF’s Ramp up the Red campaign by asking our staff to wear red and make a donation to a great cause.
“We already do lots of work in the city to teach people how to keep their hearts healthy, and support on this day is another way for us to offer additional support and get messages out there on how to keep hearts healthy.”
Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease can put an individual at greater risk.
Further information about practical steps to improve heart health can be found at Healthy hearts.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Balloon and Party Ideas is based at 2 Derwent Street, Derby DE1 2ED, tel. 01332 204 401 but will be moving to Hinckley Farm, Radbourne, Derby DE6 4LY tel. 01332 824 268 from 28 Feb 2014.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111