A Dorset-based financial planning firm has taken the highly unusual step of offering a range of new clients a free cardio-check throughout January.

Blue Sky Financial Planning Managing Director Gary Neild says he was prompted into action after hearing of serious heart problems suffered by business-owner friends.

And he also fears that entrepreneurs are so committed to running successful businesses that they don’t look after themselves.

Thus, any business owner or director who commits to undertaking comprehensive financial planning with Blue Sky, in January, will benefit from an ECG and a consultation with a heart specialist at the Poole firm’s expense.

Gary said: “It may sound like an off-beat sales pitch, but it is much more a genuine call to arms for businessmen and women to pause for a moment to think and then take care of themselves. The statistics are truly frightening.”

In the UK cardiovascular (heart and circulatory) disease (CVD) accounts for 25 per cent of all deaths – that’s 160,000 a year, or one every three minutes. Around 42,000 of those people are under 75.

The British Heart Foundation also estimates there are seven million people living with CVD and that the total annual healthcare cost is £9 billion.

Gary added: “The problem is most business owners and directors are middle aged. We look after the company, we build and manage a team, we control risks every day of our working life, yet rarely do we focus as much effort and gusto on ourselves.

“As a business owner or director, let me ask you how you are managing your risk of adverse health and the impact that this could have on your business.

“At Blue Sky we focus very much on enhancing well-being; enabling our clients to live the life they want. Without our health though, everything else becomes secondary, yet so many of us appear to be in denial. We get our car serviced regularly, but what about ourselves?”

Practising what he preaches, Gary, who founded Blue Sky in 2002, has undergone a consultation and check-up with a heart specialist this month to ensure he remains fit for purpose.

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