NHS health check scheme to be scrapped in Trafford.
It has been announced that the current NHS Health Check scheme is to be scrapped in Trafford after a report by Medicspot revealed only 45% of eligible people had participated in the scheme.
The report compares regional NHS data on the utilisation of Health Checks, a free service offered by the NHS to everyone aged 40–74 to prevent premature death from heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.
Trafford was named in the report as among the least proactive places in England when it comes to health due to the low number of people who took part in the scheme over the last five years.
The government announced it plans to replace the scheme with a digital version that makes use of technology to save people needing to book face-to-face appointments with their GP.
Out of the 69,665 eligible people in Trafford, 89% were offered a free NHS Health Check between 2014 and 2019.
Despite this, only 45% of those eligible in the borough received a Health Check. For comparison, as many as 88% of the eligible population in Bolton received a Health Check within the same period.
Dr Johnson D’souza, Medical Director and GP at medicspot advised: “People aged 40–74 who don’t get a Health Check every five years are at an increased risk of undetected cardiovascular disease.”
“By checking your blood pressure, lifestyle, family history, height and weight, we can get an idea of your risk of getting certain illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” explains D’souza.
“It is very worrying that only 45% of people who were eligible for a free NHS Health Check in Trafford took up the offer,” says D’souza.
In June, researchers revealed free NHS checks reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study found that over a six-year period, participants of the Health Check programme had lost weight, lowered blood pressure and fewer were smokers.
Officials are yet to provide precise details of what the revamped Health Checks will look like in Trafford, but they said they would harness ‘the latest technology, techniques, and data’ and would include factors ‘that could include their age, where they live and their DNA’ to personalise health checks.
Despite the planned overhaul, people in Trafford who are aged 40–70 can still get a Health Check from their GP or pharmacist. This would usually involve receiving a letter from your GP or local authority to invite you for a Health Check. However, you can also request one yourself by contacting Trafford Council for more information.
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