Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

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Health check success in Gateshead

People in Gateshead are getting to grips with their health as more take up free NHS Health Checks.

Recent figures show that more people living in the borough are getting checked for risks and warning signs of illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia, than anywhere else in the region.

During 2014/15, 7,513 people had an NHS Health Check out of the 11,248 who were invited for one. This means over 66% of people invited had an NHS Health Check. This percentage is higher than the North East average (41%) and also higher than the England average (48%).

Councillor Catherine Donovan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Gateshead Council, said: “These high numbers of people having NHS Health Checks in Gateshead are very encouraging. To try and convince people to have a potentially life-saving health check at time in their life when they are generally feeling well and healthy is difficult.”

“Our clear message is that taking up the offer of a free health check is a great way for people to take control of their health.”

Gateshead Director for Public Health, Carole Wood, said: “It is great news that more people are getting checked for their health risks and finding out more about what they can do to prevent conditions such as coronary heart disease.”

“We know there are a high proportion of Gateshead residents who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease through smoking, drinking too much and being overweight. We’ve estimated that there are nearly 1700 people in Gateshead with undiagnosed Coronary Heart Disease”

“A health check can help you take steps to improve your health and put you in touch with local services that can help you, such as our wellness service called Live Well Gateshead.”

Dr Mark Dornan, assistant clinical chair for NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP in Gateshead said: “The free NHS Health Check can help lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.”

“The check is for those who don’t already have any of these conditions. It should only take about 20-30 minutes and it’s simply a number of questions and measurements on age, gender, blood pressure, height and weight, and also your family history. We’ll also do a simple blood test to measure your cholesterol level.”

“Following the check, you will receive free personalised advice about what you can do to stay healthy. If you haven’t already had one, I’d recommend asking your practice to see if you’re eligible.”

Everyone aged 40 to 74 years old in England will be invited for a free NHS Health Check by their GP once every five years, apart from those already seeing their GP for certain conditions.