Friday, 2 August 2013

Free Health Checks To Help Lancashire Live Longer

Public Health bosses at Lancashire County Council are urging people in Lancashire to live longer by getting themselves checked out by their GP.

Free NHS Health Checks are available to anyone aged between 40 and 74, who has not been diagnosed with an existing vascular disease and is not being treated for certain risk factors.

The recently announced NHS Health Checks programme aims to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

The programme systematically targets the top seven causes of preventable death: high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption.

Around 352,000 people in Lancashire are elig! ible for a Health Check every five years as part of the public health role of local authorities.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "Behind the statistics about health problems in Lancashire lies the heartbreaking human story of real people dying earlier than they should.

"By encouraging people to go for a health check with their GP we will ensure that life-shortening conditions are picked up earlier, which will mean people in Lancashire have more years of quality life to spend with their families.

"Not all GPs are currently offering these checks but we are working hard to ensure that they will be available to everyone who is eligible across the county."

Research behind the programme suggests that every year in Lancashire it could lead to:

  • More than 6200 additional years of good quality life over the lifetime of those who receive a check.
  • More than 1100 additional people being diagnosed with kidney disease
  • Nearly 500 additional people being diagnosed with diabetes
  • An additional 1400 people receiving treatment for high blood pressure
  • 3200 people completing a weight loss programme
  • More than 800 people taking up regular physical activity

The programme in Lancashire will be rolled out over five years, with 75,000 people tested each year. The Health Checks are very simple and include a questionnaire to assess risk, a blood pressure check, a simple blood test, lifestyle advice and, if necessary, a referral to services offering support and advice on switching to a healthier lifestyle.

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