Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Lancashire residents urged to get free health checks

Lancashire residents are being urged to go for free NHS health checks at their local GP surgery.

Lancashire County Council is launching a campaign to encourage more people aged between 40 and 74 to take up the free checks, which can help identify and prevent the most common causes of early death.

The checks, which are offered by 90% of GPs, target the top seven causes of preventable death: high blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol consumption.

Previous campaigns have resulted in a 22% increase in the number of people going for checks between January and March this year and campaigners are hoping to see another increase this time.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "In Lancashire, as in the rest of the country, many people are dying earlier than they should or suffering from years of poor health which could be avoided.

"The checks are about preventing problems such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease. These are all potentially life-threatening, but treatable if caught early, so it's important you are checked out by your doctor – if not for yourself, do it for those you love who rely on you.

"We're pleased that 74% of people who were invited for a health check took up the offer, but we want to encourage even more people to get the checks from their GP.

"In Lancashire, there will be about 6,200 additional years of good quality life over the lifetimes of those who receive a check.

"Nearly all GPs are offering these checks but we are working hard to ensure that they will be available! to everyone who is eligible across the county."

Doctors will write to their patients inviting them for a free health check as part of the ongoing programme over the next five years.

• For more information about the health checks, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/health

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