NHS AAA screening

The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screenings, which have been taking place in the HUB since the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to be successful, with Derbyshire having one of the highest turn-out rates in the country.

Helen Hearnshaw, who performs the scans, said: “It’s aimed specifically at men aged 65. Around about their birthday they get called in to have an ultrasound scan of their abdomen, to rule-out the possibility of an aneurysm, which is something that is potentially life-threatening.

“It can happen to ladies too, but it’s six times less likely, so we don’t screen ladies. The programme has been going in Derbyshire for the last ten years and has been very successful.

“Originally, we were based at the hospital but when Covid hit we were asked not to take patients in for their routine appointments so we lost our place there. Luckily, the Trust offered us a place here and it went down really well because patients were happier here than at the hospital.

“The men that do come are very happy to come to the football club, especially if they are football fans.”

On the health benefits of the screenings, Helen added: “It used to be the cause of 6,000 deaths per year. Since the screening programme has been in place, those numbers have come right down.

“We tend to catch all aneurysms of men who get to 65 so they don’t go on to become something that is potentially life-threatening.

“We find aneurysms in about 1.2% of the patients we scan, which is about one per week, so it’s well worth doing.”

Thanking the Trust for continuing to allow the operation of the scans within the HUB, Helen said: “They have always been very accommodating. It’s good that it’s easy to find, most people know where we are and the staff are very accommodating of our patients.

“I’m really glad that we have this continued alliance with the football club because it’s a good thing for our patients, for us and for the community.”