Accessing a health check has become even easier in Andover and throughout Hampshire, meaning more people can actively do something to reduce their risk of developing long term conditions like diabetes and maintaining independence for longer.
Currently people aged 40-74 who haven’t already been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease are invited by letter to make an appointment with their GP for a personalised health check. Now any eligible Hampshire resident can ask their GP for an NHS Health Check without the need for an invitation letter and GPs can offer eligible patients one if in contact for other reasons.
The County Council’s Public Health Team is introducing the changes to give Hampshire residents better access to the NHS Health Check programme and to enable them to receive help to prevent them developing diabetes and other long term conditions, as well as advice on improving their existing health and maintaining their independence and quality of life.
The NHS Health Check is a 20-30 minute health assessment to identify those at risk of serious, but potentially avoidable conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. At the check, you are asked some questions about your lifestyle and family medical history. You’ll also have some routine tests, for example blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI will all be checked. At the check you will be able to discuss your results with the health practitioner and talk about what you can do to be healthy.
In Hampshire over 57,000 people over the age of 17 are known to have Diabetes, most of whom are overweight. Approximately 85% of these people will have Type 2 diabetes, with 15% having Type 1 diabetes. Of concern are the estimated 13,000 adults living in the county who have diabetes but don’t know it. Diabetes not only leads to heart disease, kidney failure, possible limb amputations but also to blindness; all of which is avoidable.
Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Hampshire County Council said: “I am pleased that we have improved the existing programme by giving people the opportunity to actively request an NHS Health Check and enabling GPs to offer eligible patients one at opportune moments. This will help GPs better support people to stay in good health, enjoy their lives and maintain their independence for longer.”
“With type 2 diabetes becoming so common, the NHS Health Check is there to help guide people to take important steps, such as weight loss and increased activity, to prevent or even reverse diabetes in its early stages.”