More than 1500 visitors to health pop-up shop

Published: Thursday 23rd March 17

The Wandsworth Get to Know Your Health Pop Up Shop in Southside was visited by 1501 people, with 631 of them receiving a health MOT from the shop’s nurses, figures reveal.

Visitors could get free, no-fuss health checks

The shop aimed to make it easy for residents to drop in for free check ups and advice while they shopped at the Wandsworth shopping centre. They were offered quick, easy and confidential tests including blood sugar, BMI and blood pressure checks, plus advice on the signs and symptoms of diabetes and cancer, information on sexual health and more. Many thousands of leaflets were given out, with the most popular one from the British Heart Foundation on how to keep your heart healthy.

Of the 631 people that had check-ups, 111 were referred to their GP for further investigation. In almost half of cases, the referral was because of high blood pressure. Another 29 people were referred for high blood sugar levels, which is often a sign someone has diabetes without knowing it.

Other people with a family history of diabetes or heart disease were warned that this increased their chance to getting the condition. One 82 year man who kept falling was found to have an irregular pulse and was referred to his GP. Many younger people said they were not registered with a GP, including one young man who was urged to get irregular moles checked out.

There were 102 referrals to the council’s lifestyle services, including help to stop smoking, health trainers, weight management services and exercise taster sessions. The Brighter Partnership, which is commissioned by the council to provide HIV services in Wandsworth, was invited into the shop on three days and carried out 40 HIV tests.

Specialist sessions were also held for people with learning disabilities. During a session with the Generate group a game of ‘health bingo’ was held to help communicate health messages. 

'Health Bingo'

Feedback from visitors was positive. One man with a painful foot was referred to his GP and immediately started on antibiotics for the potentially serious skin infection cellulitis. He said: “Thank you so much – if it hadn’t have been for me coming into this shop I wouldn’t have gone to see my GP.” Other comments included: “The shop is a fabulous idea, people far more likely to pop in opposed to booking appointments and attending a clinical setting” and “Just popped in to see what it was all about and got so much support and advice. Really opened my eyes to why I must stop smoking”.

Wandsworth health spokesman Cllr Jim Maddan said: “We know people lead busy lives, and finding time to visit their GP can be a struggle. That is why we opened the Get To Know Your Health pop-up shop to get support and information out to our residents while they shopped.

“As someone with health issues myself, I know that it’s crucial to spot early symptoms, get the right advice and face the issue head-on. I would urge anyone unable to get to the shop to find out about free NHS healthchecks and take control of their health.” 

If you were unable to visit the shop, free NHS healthchecks are available from GPs for people aged between 40 and 74 who do not have certain long-term conditions. Find out more at or call 020 8871 5054.

For links to other services to help you lose weight, stop smoking, get fit, drink less, improve your mental health and more, visit

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