Kingston has third highest uptake of health checks in the country

Borough’s residents are already answering Jeremy Hunt’s calls for a ‘revolution’ in personal responsibility for health.

Over 8,000 people in Kingston took up the offer of a free NHS health check in the last year - just under 19 per cent of the borough’s eligible population. This places Kingston second in London and third nationally for uptake of the scheme.

The news comes at the end of a week when Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, called for a ‘revolution’ in personal responsibility for health at the Local Government Association Conference.

Councillor Julie Pickering, Lead Member for Health and Social Care at Kingston Council, said:

“Jeremy Hunt used his speech at this week’s Local Government Association Conference to call for what he described as a ‘revolution’ in personal responsibility for health. The UK is a world-leader in almost every aspect of health apart from self-care. When it comes to preventing illness or leading healthy lives we are bottom of the pack, ranked tenth out of 11 leading countries.

“I am delighted that Kingston is bucking the national trend and that so many residents in the borough are taking personal responsibility for their health and recognising that prevention is better than cure.

“The number of people in Kingston taking up the opportunity to have a free health check is the highest since the scheme began in 2009, but I urge more to do so. Prevention and early detection of serious diseases is the reason we run this programme. The results show that the scheme is increasing in popularity and this undoubtedly will enable people to live longer, happier lives.”

About the free NHS health checks

  • The health checks, which are available to those aged 40 to 74 years of age who either live in or are registered with a GP in the borough, assess the potential for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. All people who received a health check were given personalised advice on the support available to them, as well as information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • 8,041 people received their health check. A large proportion visited their GP to take part, others took the opportunity of an appointment within their local community and a small percentage visited participating pharmacies. More females (55 per cent) took part in the initiative than males (45 per cent). Overall, more than 29 per cent were from black or minority ethnic groups.
  • Kingston was third nationally, and second in London, in terms of uptake, behind Bolton and Tower Hamlets. Kingston’s public health grant equates to about £54 per resident, compared to Bolton where it is approximately £64 per head and Tower Hamlets where it is £117 per head (based on population estimates extracted from the Office of National Statistics)

For more information, see Free NHS health check programme.