Local authorities should offer NHS Health Checks

Duncan Selbie has urged local authorities to ensure that all local residents eligible for a free NHS Health Check get an invite and lower the risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

Cardiovascular Disease is a leading cause of disability and death in the UK, affecting around seven million people and being responsible for 26 per cent of all deaths in England. This is estimated to cost the NHS around £9 billion a year.

Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, used his speech at Public Health England ‘s Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Conference to address the issue, with conference streams focusing on ensuring equity and reducing inequality through Cardiovascular Disease prevention programmes highlighting the importance of health care professionals in delivering behaviour change messaging for Cardiovascular Disease risk reduction.

Selbie said: “Since 2013, over 6.1 million people have taken an NHS Health Check. 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 five years. We must work together to increase numbers taking up the offer, in particular targeting our efforts to those at greatest risk. There is good evidence that the programme is successful in identifying those at high risk of cardiovascular disease, but we also need to follow up with effective care and support for them.”

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