The chief executive of Public Health England (PHE) has called on local authorities to ensure all residents eligible for a free NHS Health Check get an invite.
Speaking at PHE’s Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Conference yesterday, Duncan Selbie said all councils were required by law to make sure their residents are offered a health check every 5 years.
The NHS check is free for all adults in England aged 40 to 74, who have not yet developed CVD.
It helps to detect early signs of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.
CVD affects around 7 million people and is responsible for 26% of all deaths in England. It costs the NHS £9bn a year.
‘Since 2013, over 6.1 million people have taken an NHS Health Check,’ said Dr Selbie.
‘The programme is a cornerstone in England for the prevention of conditions such as CVD, which causes one in four premature deaths and places a huge strain on individuals, families and our healthcare system.
‘We also know that it is the same risk factors causing many cancers and other preventable illnesses, so this is a hugely important programme.
‘The NHS Health Check has had much success and has the potential to prevent many thousands of premature deaths and ill health in England, but there is still much to be done.
‘Every local authority in the country is required by law to ensure that all eligible people in their area are offered a check every 5 years.
‘We must work together to increase numbers taking up the offer, in particular targeting our efforts to those at greatest risk.’