Newham tops the charts for take up of free NHS health checks

27 July 2017 in Health
Newham is the best place in the country for people taking up the chance of having a free NHS Health Check, official figures have revealed.
According to Public Health England, between April 2016 and March 2017, Newham was the best performing local authority in England for the percentage of eligible residents receiving a health check. These tests identify the early signs of conditions including heart and kidney disease, diabetes and potential strokes

People aged between 40-74 who do not already have a pre-existing health condition are invited by their GP to take the test every five years. In Newham, these tests are funded by Newham Council.

A total of 24.1per cent of those eligible took the tests in 2016-2017 making it the third successive year that more than 11,000 Newham residents have undergone the tests. Since 2008, GPs in Newham and Newham Council have been working hard to improve uptake of the check, completing around 83,000 health checks in total.

The NHS Health Check comprises of people being asked a number of questions about their lifestyle, their family history and habits as well as taking a number of simple non-invasive tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and body mass index to obtain a full picture of their health.

This year’s tests found a number of people living with or at risk of developing long term conditions. These included:    
  • 176 people with diabetes 
  • 333 people at high risk of developing diabetes
  • 313 people with a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and at risk of suffering a heart attack  
  • 227 people with high blood pressure.​
The figures show the success of the joint work of Newham Council and NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in ensuring those at potential risk of developing long term conditions are encouraged to take the tests.

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health, said: “These tests are a vital way of helping us save lives. They act as an early warning system for long term conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

“It is important these are identified as soon as possible to give people the opportunity they need to change their habits and lifestyles before the diseases seriously impact their lives. Not only does helping people lead healthier lifestyles and changing their diet help them but it also reduces the pressure on our health and care services.

“Working jointly with GPs we are encouraging more and more people to take these free tests and I hope this trend is continues.”

Dr Prakash Chandra, a local GP and chair of Newham CCG said: “Getting the right advice and support now can help to reduce your chances of developing more serious conditions in the future. An NHS Health Checks are free and take just 30 minutes. They can help to give you a clearer picture of your health as well as access to the information and support that you need to stay healthy. I’d encourage everyone to take up the offer of a free check when they receive an invitation through from their GP.

“We’re delighted that Newham is now top in the country for the uptake of NHS Health Checks. These excellent results are a testament to the continuing hard work of our GPs and all of our partners across Newham.”