Local MP urges improved NHS health checks programme after HEART UK cholesterol report shows patch progress
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, is calling for improved NHS Health Checks following startling revelations in the HEART UK Report, ‘Cholesterol and a Healthier Nation’, launched in Westminster.
The HEART UK Cholesterol Report sets out key recommendations to ensure widespread implementation of Health Checks by NHS Trusts to help prevent early death caused by high cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors.
The NHS Health Check programme aims to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease by assessing risk factors for these conditions in people aged 40 to 74. Implementation of the programme began in 2009, but appears to be under threat in some areas due to lack of funding and waning support from GPs. Whilst some regions have been proactive and innovative in their approach, others are yet to implement the Health Checks programme.
Andrew said: “I want to thank HEART UK for informing me about the status of Health Checks and giving me the opportunity to help improve heart disease services for my constituents. I am committed to working with the local NHS Trust and in Parliament to ensure that heart disease services are well-coordinated and remain a public health priority.”
HEART UK Chief Executive Jules Payne said: “I would like to thank Andrew for pledging to support HEART UK in its aim of promoting widespread implementation of the NHS Health Checks.
“Tackling heart disease must be a priority for Primary Care Trusts and undertaking Health Checks is a cost-effective and straightforward way of picking up risk factors for heart conditions before it is too late. The Health Check programme is under threat and not being implemented uniformly across the country and action must be taken to ensure it continues to save lives and public money.”
HEART UK is calling on Primary Care Trusts to fulfil the requirements placed upon them by the NHS to ensure that the Health Checks programme is a priority and is made available to all people aged between 40 and 74. Targeting the harder to reach groups at a local level also has to be a key focus.