Free health checks ‘will save lives’, Jeremy Hunt says
Hundreds of lives can be saved if the NHS and native authorities did more to encourage people to take in free health checks, the health secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt was highlighting the NHS Health Check programme, that is led by Public Health England (PHE).
A PHE review said checking the blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and lifestyle of folk between 40 and 74 could curb diabetes and heart attacks.
Health charities welcomed the move to enhance the choice of checks.
Before local authorities took over responsibility from Primary Care Trusts for commissioning the checks in April, there has been considerable variation in how widely they were offered.
PHE has launched a ten-point plan to assist councils provide them to twenty% in their eligible local population a year – 15 million people by 2018/19.
And PHE will soon launch a site where will probably be possible to expose what number health check offers are being made by each local authority.
Mr Hunt said: “Around 15 million people in England are eligible for a free NHS Health Check which could identify serious conditions early and add years to their life.
“I’d desire to see all 40-74 year olds taking over this potentially life-saving opportunity. And I’d wish to see the NHS and native authorities encouraging people of their area to become involved. Shall we save 650 lives a year if there has been full take-up.
“We’re an ageing population and focused on our health early is very important to living a protracted and prosperous life.”
The programme is concentrated on preventing conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
The PHE review said the checks could prevent 1,600 heart attacks and four,000 cases of diabetes a year.
Director of healthiness for PHE Professor Kevin Fenton said: “We must do more to extend uptake and referral to acceptable risk management services, particularly in those communities at greatest risk, to take away blocks in processes that get within the way and ensure the programme is of consistent high-quality around the country.”
The chief executive of Diabetes UK, Barbara Young, said: “We’re delighted Public Health England is taking the NHS Health Check programme seriously.
She added: “These conditions could have a devastating effect on people’s lives and the fundamental fact is that the more folks who have an NHS Health Check, the more lives might possibly be saved.”