Call for more Wiganers to have health check-ups

Wiganers are being urged to get a health check
Wiganers are being urged to get a health check
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More than half of Wiganers eligible for a potentially life-saving health MOT in the past five years have spurned it.

New data shows 43,992 people received an NHS health check in the borough between 2013 and 2018 - 44.5 per cent of the eligible population.

The programme offers a check-up to everyone aged 40 to 74 to spot early signs of diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, heart disease and dementia.

Prof Kate Ardern, director for public health at Wigan Council, said: “The health and well-being of our residents is a key priority for us and we have been working with Health First to provide free NHS health checks for some time.

“Currently, Wigan borough has the third highest rate of delivering health checks in Greater Manchester with almost 9,000 eligible people receiving one in 2017/18.

“Additionally, as part of the Greater Manchester devolution agenda, primary care standards have been developed, meaning there will be three further annual health checks for carers, patients with long-term mental illnesses and residents with a learning disability. We will also continue to work with our health colleagues to continually increase the uptake of health checks in the future.

“Not only are health checks really straightforward and take only 20 minutes, but they can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia, so we encourage as many eligible residents as possible to find out more.”

Between 2013 and 2018, 15.5m people in England were eligible for an NHS health check, but only 6.8m (44 per cent) received one.

Diabetes UK is urging councils to do more to get people to their check, as it is a vital route for referral into an NHS programme for those at high risk of type two diabetes.

There are 12.3m people at increased risk of developing diabetes and knowing that could help them prevent it.

Yvonne Browne, improving care manager for Diabetes UK, said: “It is absolutely vital that all people who are eligible in every area get a health check. If left undiagnosed, type two diabetes can lead to devastating complications including blindness, amputations, stroke and kidney failure, but with the right treatment and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life.”