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Kingston people keen on free checks to help cut health risks

More people in Kingston are taking up the offer of free health checks than the rest of London, helping to combat heart disease, strokes, diabetes and other potential killers.

Last year more than 7,500 people in Kingston aged between 40 and 74 had an NHS Health Check - 18 per cent of the population, which is the highest across the capital and the fifth highest nationally. The London average was ten per cent.

More women (59 per cent) than men (41 per cent) had a health check last year, a report to Kingston Council’s Health Overview Panel shows.

Kingston Council took over the responsibility for the NHS Health Check programme in April 2013, providing the service through GPs, pharmacies and a community programme targeting black and minority ethnic and disadvantaged groups at venues including supermarkets, pubs and libraries. 

The programme aims to identify people at risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes or kidney disease and ensure that they can get treatment or a suitable lifestyle plan to manage the risk. It also aims to cut levels of alcohol related harm. 

In Kingston an estimated one in five people have high blood pressure yet just over 11 per cent are recorded, suggesting that there are many people in the borough unaware that they have the condition.

Councillor Raju Pandya, vice-chair of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said:

“It is good to see Kingston top of the health check league in London, and with one of the best take up rates in the country. The fact that a high proportion of people from the black and minority ethnic population were seen is a positive finding for our community programme.”

Councillor Julie Pickering, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“Everyone can be at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease. These can often be prevented even if you have a history of them in your family.

“Our programme is saving lives and detecting disease early. Every eligible person aged 40 to 74 should have a health check every five years.”

For more information about NHS Health Checks in Kingston see our staying healthy section or call 020 8547 6805.

Kingston Health Checks are for people resident in Kingston and/or registered with a Kingston GP. People are eligible for a Health Check if they are not already known to have a vascular condition and are aged 40 to 74.