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NHS Health Checks up 9.5% - PHE

More than 1.3 million people have accepted an offer to attend an NHS Health Check in the last 12 months, a 9.5% increase compared to the previous year, according to new figures from Public Health England (PHE).

Out of the eligible population, 2.82 million people across all 152 local authorities in England were offered an NHS Health Check, and 1,382 million people have had one between April 2013 and April 2014. 

PHE stated that this is the largest number of appointments offered and received since the programme started in April 2009, being the first annual results since local authorities took on responsibility for the programme in April 2013. 

Professor Kevin Fenton, director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see more people than ever before are taking up the offer, but we want to do better. 

“With such a huge burden of disease associated with potentially avoidable conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the NHS Health Check presents a real opportunity for individuals to take steps earlier, and through modifications in behaviour and lifestyle, reduce their risk.” 

The latest figures highlighted that of those people offered an NHS Health Check, 49% were reported as taking up their check. However, PHE stated that it is committed to working with local authorities to increase the overall take up of the NHS Health Check towards 66% by March 2015. 

Katie Hall, chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said that councils working in partnership with local GPs and pharmacies have led to a marked increase in take up, especially among socio-economically deprived communities, by organising opportunities in supermarkets, neighbourhood events and away from traditional health settings. 

Public health minister Jane Ellison added: “I am delighted to see more people than ever taking up the offer of a free NHS Health Check. These checks have a major part to play in early prevention of disease, and are an important step for many people towards improving their health and becoming more aware of how they can lead a healthier life. 

“I urge everyone who is offered an NHS Health Check to take up the offer.” 

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