Local authorities to combat cardiovascular disease with free NHS checks

cardiovascular disease

Chief Executive Duncan Selbie has called on local authorities to ensure that all local residents eligible for a free NHS Health Check get an invite – to help tackle the one in four premature deaths in the country caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The NHS Health Check is free for all adults in England aged 40 to 74, who have not yet developed Cardiovascular Disease. It’s one of the largest health prevention programmes in the world, helping to detect and prevent early signs of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, 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 5 years. We must work together to increase numbers taking up the offer, in particular targeting our efforts to those at greatest risk.

CVD is a leading cause of disability and death in the UK, affecting around 7 million people. It is responsible for 26% of all deaths in England – estimated to cost the NHS around £9 billion a year.

The Public Health England ‘s cardiovascular disease (CVD) Prevention Conference, is expected to attract over 500 health professionals including GPs and NHS Health Check providers.

The conference will focus on a number of ways that CVD risk can be reduced, including:

  • ensuring equity and reducing inequality through CVD prevention programmes highlighting the importance of health care professionals in delivering behaviour change messaging for CVD risk reduction
  • learning from a range of international CVD prevention project

Public Health England has also published two documents which focus on cardiovascular disease prevention.

Size of the Prize provides region-specific statistics to help prevent heart attacks and strokes by implementing proper follow up care to those likely to be at risk.

The second document, known as the stock take and action plan, sets out how to further improve the programme within the next 5 years.



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