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Over 40s in South Gloucestershire encouraged to have their NHS Health Check

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 03/02/2017

Anyone in South Gloucestershire who has received an invite from their GP to attend a NHS Health Check is encouraged to go for their free assessment.

The NHS Health Check programme, commissioned by South Gloucestershire Council, is part of a world leading initiative provided by local GP practices. The programme’s objective is to facilitate early diagnosis and optimal treatment for high risk conditions including, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia, as well as reducing the risk of having a stroke.

Anyone can be at risk of developing these vascular diseases, but the good news is that these conditions can often be prevented – even if you have a history of them in your family.

Nearly 40,000 people have had a NHS Health Check in South Gloucestershire since 2013. Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or is otherwise ineligible, is invited to have a free NHS Health Check once every five years.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Adults, Housing and Public Health lead member Cllr Ben Stokes said: “When you receive your invite, please make sure you go along and have your free NHS Health Check.

“If enough people take advantage of these NHS Health Checks it will help reduce chronic illnesses and avoidable premature mortality, as well as reducing the health and social care costs related to long-term ill health and disability.

“Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or have certain risk factors, will be invited to have a check to assess their risk of cardiovascular disease. Support and advice will be also provided to help them reduce or manage that risk if required.”

The check only takes around 20 minutes and will involve answering some simple questions about your family history and lifestyle choices along with a blood pressure test and an instant blood test to check your cholesterol level.

The results will be discussed with you and further advice and support will be provided if needed. Additional tests and referral to your GP may also follow if required.

For more information visit or ask at your GP surgery.

Case study:

One patient’s experience with the NHS Health Check

Paul, an ex-footballer, aged 57 years, attended Wellington Road Surgery in Yate for his NHS Health Check.

“I didn’t feel ill but I was offered the NHS Health Check so decided to go along.”

Paul’s blood pressure was sky high at 160/100 and he had a total cholesterol of 13.7.

“I always thought I was quite fit. I do circuits and play five a side. But I found out I was a heart attack and stroke waiting to happen. It was quite frightening.”

“From that point onwards I stopped drinking from Sundays through to Thursdays and only drink moderately after that. I cut out crisps, cake, chocolate, bacon and cheese. All of that went as did the Friday lunchtime takeaway meal. I upped my exercise and now run four or five times a week.”

Paul managed to bring his total cholesterol down to 6.2 within a few months by healthy eating. He has reduced his blood pressure to a much healthier reading of 129/80. He has also dropped from 14.4 stones to 12.5 and has maintained this.

“What really helped was being given the news in a way that didn’t make me feel under pressure or anxious. I was given a target of making a change within a month and I was followed up by phone and asked to come back in. That made a big difference.”

For more information visit or ask at your GP surgery.

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