Birmingham leads way in Health Checks

By on 05/12/2013 in News

More people in Birmingham are taking up the offer of an NHS Health Check than in most other parts of the country.

The checks, offered to people aged between 40 and 74 years, are designed to identify the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

And the latest figures show that the take up of the programme is much higher in Birmingham than the national average:

  • 5.9 per cent of people eligible were invited to attend for an NHS Health Check in the second quarter of 2013/14. This compares to 4.6 per cent being invited nationally
  • An impressive 60.5 per cent of people accepted the offer of an NHS Health Check compared to 49.6 per cent nationally

Over 100,000 Birmingham people attended an NHS Health Check in the first three years of the initiative, with around 7,500 identified as having conditions like diabetes and hypertension, while all those attending have received lifestyle advice.

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, said: “The success of the NHS Health Check scheme in Birmingham is very encouraging. Our city has higher than average smoking and obesity rates, residents have poorer diets, exercise less and consume more harmful levels of alcohol than other parts of the UK.

“But through the NHS Health Check programme, thousands of people in Birmingham have been offered practical advice to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, stroke and certain types of dementia.

“There are still many eligible people who have not yet taken up the offer and my advice to them would be to speak to their GP as soon as possible.”

NHS Health Check and you

The NHS Health Check programme is for adults in England aged between 40 and 74. If you're invited for an NHS Health Check you'll be offered a series of routine tests that will help identify your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.

Why do I need an NHS Health Check?

Everyone has a chance of developing heart disease, stroke, kidney disease or type 2 diabetes. NHS Health Check will help you and your GP or health professional to identify your risk earlier. You'll then be given advice on what action you can take to lower your risk and improve your chances of a healthier life. For example, making changes to your diet or becoming more active.

How do I get an NHS Health Check?

From April 2013, responsibility for the NHS Health Check programme moved to your local authority, which will invite anyone who is eligible to have a check over a five-year rolling cycle. That means everyone aged between 40 and 74 who hasn't already been diagnosed with any of the conditions mentioned above will be invited for an NHS Health Check.

The check is likely to be offered in GP surgeries and local pharmacies. They may also be offered at other suitable and accessible locations in your community.

In the meantime, if you’re worried about your health, don’t wait for your NHS Health Check. Contact your GP in the usual way.

What happens at my NHS Health Check?

A few, straightforward health tests, followed by a discussion of your results.

What happens after my check?

Following your first check, you'll be invited for another check every five years until you're over 74. If you're diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or have a stroke after your first or any subsequent NHS Health Check, your condition will be managed as usual and there will be no need for further checks. If your GP offers you any medical treatments after your NHS Health Check, such as medicines to lower your blood pressure, your progress on those medicines will be monitored by your GP.

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