Monday, 23 July 2012

Life begins at 40

As many of you will know, I had a big birthday recently.
As if turning 40 wasn't bad enough, every birthday card screamed it in big numbers, some even came with badges. There were balloons, streamers, banners and even a cake!!!
So I got over that, and I thought I could quietly enjoy the rest of my 41st year without fanfare, but sadly not so.

A letter arrived last week from NHS 24 and Healthier Scotland telling me that "Life begins at 40" and that this is a new service which can help me think about different areas of my life and how they might affect my health and well being now and in the future. Brilliant!

I was invited to complete an assessment. I chose to do it online, but could have done it over the phone and in any language I wanted.
So I thought I'd give it a go......purely so I could let you know the results*. How kind am I?

After logging in you get the option of answering questions in four categories:
  • How you treat your body
  • How you are feeling in yourself
  • How you can stay well
  • Things in your life that affect you
The questions are pretty much as you would expect and after each section you are given access to masses of resources ranging from how to reduce the amount of salt in your diet to help with employment and money issues.

It is clear that a huge amount of work has gone into setting up this service and I am certainly impressed by the volume of information available-which can be accessed without having a password - but I am concerned that a huge amount of money will have been spent on targeting a relatively small number of people (those who turn 40! ) and like most of these things, the people who need the advice the most are likely to be those who access the service the least.

*If you are really interested in the results, you'll have to speak to me directly!


  1. Interesting to hear from someone else who received this letter. I received mine last year and immediately thought that the money spent on this could have been better spent. So I shredded mine. I agree that those who need these services the most are least likely to access them. I very much doubt that they will pay attention to these letters. I'd be interested to know the numbers that have taken it up?

    1. Catherine,
      Thanks for your comment. Cost must be a big factor. I am sure you can ask for the data under foi if you really want to know!
      I wonder who decided this was a necessary service!

  2. It does seem a shame that everyone - including those of us who have been 40 for a while - can't access all this info.

  3. I'm afraid I was too offended by the letter to follow up the information and just binned it! How sad am I?! Erica

    1. Isn't that funny that 2/3rds of us on here have binned the letter...not really a great campaign is it?

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