New Year campaign gives free health checks to patients

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PATIENTS are being encouraged to take free health checks as part of a New Year NHS campaign.

Patients aged between 40 and 74, who do not have a pre-existing heart-related condition, are eligible for a free NHS Health Check and can contact their GP for an appointment.

Health Checks focus on stopping major causes of illness, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. These conditions are often avoidable and manageable, and a health check could help flag up any potential issues before they become a problem.

Dr Nessan Carson from NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A Health Check is a great opportunity to make sure that you do not have any underlying health problems which could impact on your health.

“You may feel fine, but a NHS Health Check could help you enjoy a longer and healthier life. Patients who have had a health check told us, that the free personalised advice about what they can do to stay healthy is very useful and helps them make positive decisions about their health and lifestyle.

“There is absolutely no need to worry about coming in for a health check – the aim is to prevent illness, and a few minutes spent on your health now could add years to your life. If the Health Check does highlight any potential problems then you will be offered plenty of advice and support to help you address them.”

Over the next couple of months city GP practices will be writing to eligible patients asking them to get in touch and arrange their free NHS Health Check, alternatively patients can contact their surgery to find out more.

The Health Check itself will take about 20-30 minutes during which cholesterol levels will be measured from patients blood sample, and blood pressure and pulse rate will be taken.

Height and weight will also be taken to measure people’s body mass index.

A discussion about family history, smoking status, age and ethnicity and levels of physical activity also forms part of the check as these factors can contribute to people’s risk.

A Healthcare Professional will give the results and explain what they mean. In some instances, tests may have to be sent away for analysis. This means that some people will not get their test results immediately and may be asked to return at a later date for discussion.