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Local authorities should ‘encourage’ people to attend Health Checks


27 February 2014

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Local authorities should encourage people to attend NHS Health Checks and support them in making changes needed to improve their health, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has claimed. 


The NHS Health Check is a national programme for people aged 40-74 which assesses a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. 
It then provides  tailored support to help prevent the condition, advising on lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. 

Local authorities should encourage people to attend NHS Health Checks and support them in making changes needed to improve their health, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has claimed. 


The NHS Health Check is a national programme for people aged 40-74 which assesses a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. 
It then provides  tailored support to help prevent the condition, advising on lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. 
There are over 15 million people in the UK who should be offered an NHS Health Check once every five years, and local authorities are responsible for commissioning the service. 
A new local government briefing released by NICE sets out ways to help local authorities support those delivering the advice. 
The briefing highlights the importance of taking steps to address diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke to improve the health of local people, and also tackle health inequalities. 


Professor Mike Kelly, director of the centre for public health at NICE said: "One of the briefing recommendations advises that NHS Health checks can be carried out in a range of settings like pharmacies and community centres so that they are easily accessible to as many people as possible. 
"Following the advice set out in the briefing can help local authorities to tackle health inequalities and make the best and most efficient use of resources to improve the health of people in their area.”

Examples of effective recommendations highlighted in the new briefing include:

 – Promote NHS Health Checks and increase uptake: Use community engagement methods to identify networks of local people, champions and advocates who have the potential to promote health checks as part of an integrated health and wellbeing strategy.

 – Help people reduce behavioural risk factors: Offering help and advice across a range of risk factors and lifestyle behaviours including smoking, alcohol, weight control, diet and physical activity, is effective. A wide-ranging programme of initiatives, covering all local authority departments, will help encourage and empower local communities to adopt more healthy lifestyles.

 – Plan services: Services should be provided in a range of settings. The NHS Health Check programme is for people aged 40 to 74 years and so providing interventions in the workplace may increase uptake.
The full briefing is available on the NICE website.
 

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