This Valentine's Day, it's time for people to look after their hearts and book in for an NHS Health Check at their local GP surgery.
An NHS Health Check is free and people can book in to find out how healthy their heart is and whether they can do anything to prevent future health problems. It is on offer to those who do not currently have a long-term health issue and for those between the ages of 40 - 74.
It's a short 20-30 minute check on blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and the lifestyle factors that influence your health. The Check assesses your risk of developing not only heart problems but also type 2 diabetes and conditions that affect your blood circulation system. Trained staff are then on hand to provide advice and information on how you can have a healthier lifestyle, that may mean eating healthier, being more active, drinking less or stopping smoking which all help to lower the risks of poor health.
Jay Carr, an ex-smoker from Wisbech recently had his NHS Health Check and said: "This programme has helped not only my physical health but also my mental health, giving me an overall sense of wellbeing. Go and see your doctor, their advice is invaluable. I received the letter for the NHS Health Check and went along to the appointment. I was aware my health wasn't the best it could have been, but wasn't sure of how to change it. It was a very positive experience and would totally recommend it to anyone."
Debbie Beales, local clinical nurse lead for Cambridgeshire NHS Health Checks, said: "The free NHS Health Check can identify lifestyle risks for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and (certain types) of dementia. Local, friendly healthcare professionals can help you make simple lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity, to lower your risk of developing serious health problems. Take action now and enjoy a healthier life for longer."
In 2016, almost 20,000 people in Cambridgeshire had their Check. Why wait? If you think you're eligible then book in for a free appointment at your local surgery now. Over 1,000 Cambridgeshire residents have taken up weight loss programmes since their NHS Health Check; hundreds now do more physical activity and they have led to hundreds of others quitting smoking.
Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: œIt is good to see so many people taking action to reduce their risk of developing potentially avoidable diseases. This is a free service that can make a real difference to local people. Now is a great time to give ourselves a push to improve our health. The NHS Health Check is an excellent way to know about your health at the moment and gives you information about where you can get further information and support for a lifestyle that will help you to maintain and improve your health in the future.
The NHS Health Check interactive website provides further information about what happens at the Check, when and how to get one, and how to lower your risk available at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/nhshealthchecks or contact your local GP Surgery.