Three special guests launched a new healthy living scheme at Specsavers Dudley on Friday 23 March.
Ian Austin MP, Dudley Deputy Mayor, Councillor Alan Taylor, and Deputy Mayoress, Mrs Winifred Taylor, officially unveiled the scheme at the store – which is now accredited as a Healthy Living Optician.
As part of the scheme the store now offers a range of free services to customers, including help with smoking cessation, alcohol screening and NHS Health Checks.
Similar to the service provided by pharmacists, Healthy Living Opticians aim to improve the accessibility of these essential NHS services, particularly at times when other healthcare professionals are not available.
‘Regular sight tests can often uncover other health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, so we regularly direct customers to their GP or hospital where they can get more advice,’ said Gurdeep Dosanjh, store director at Specsavers in Dudley. ‘Becoming a Healthy Living Optician under this scheme means we can now provide expert support and advice around a host of common health issues.
‘Since we first opened our doors in the eighties, we’ve become a valued and trusted part of the community and we hope to build on that by promoting healthy living as a lifestyle choice to support our customers’ well-being.’
Having been fully trained, several members of the Specsavers team are equipped to offer these essential services – free of charge – to people living or working locally. Clinics will run at various times throughout the week, making it easier for local people to seek advice at times convenient for them.
‘As part of our accreditation we can provide customers with support and advice on quitting smoking, as well as offering alcohol screening,’ continued Gurdeep. ‘Many people have trouble quitting smoking, so it really helps to have somebody there to support you along the way.’
Customers can also pop into the store for a free NHS Health Check which can help spot early signs of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, which are more common in over-40s. Including a discussion with a Specsavers advisor, the Health Check will measure your risk and provide you with a report to take home, with any concerns being automatically highlighted to your GP to follow up.