The Lord Mayor of Nottingham: ‘Our Future Health will help the NHS to catch illnesses earlier’
The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Wendy Smith, became one of the first volunteers to join at our new clinic in Nottingham city centre last week, as she paid a visit to support Our Future Health.
Attending her appointment on the clinic’s opening day, Friday 21 April, The Lord Mayor said: “I’m impressed with what Our Future Health is doing. It will help people, and the NHS, catch illnesses before they start, or when they’re in the early days of their development.”
Wendy explained that she’s always keen to take part in health research, as both her and her close family have been affected by serious illness. “My mother has dementia, so I’m particularly interested in dementia research. I also had breast cancer 17 years ago, when I was 53-years old. It was discovered during a routine mammogram – I wouldn’t have had any idea that I had cancer unless I went for my screening.”
“After I was diagnosed, my sister, who’s 10 years younger than me, also found a lump in her breast. She was too young for a screening, but she got herself checked and discovered that she had breast cancer too.
“We both went through treatment, and we’ve been cancer free ever since. I feel that screening could have saved my life.”
Wendy’s words chime with Our Future Health because our research programme is designed to translate into improved healthcare. In the future, we may see more targeted screening programmes, across multiple common diseases, including various cancers and type 2 diabetes. These conditions will be picked up earlier, or even prevented pre-diagnosis, lowering the burden on the NHS in the process.
Levelling up health inequalities
While at the clinic, the Lord Mayor met staff, toured the facility, and encouraged local residents to sign up to Our Future Health. “As a councillor, I represent the ward of Bilborough, where life expectancy is 10 years less than in its neighbouring ward. It’s a deprived area with a lot of illness and disability, including lung disease, obesity and diabetes, so it’s vital people take part.”
By joining Our Future Health, she said that the community will have the opportunity to find about their health. “It’s absolutely crucial that a city like Nottingham gets fully behind this programme.”
Ending her visit by reiterating how positive it felt to be part of our research programme, The Lord Mayor said: “The clinic is friendly, welcoming and well-organised, and everything is explained clearly so you know exactly what’s going to happen. If you’re thinking of joining, my advice is to go for it.”