Last week I had the pleasure of taking part in a panel put on by Oldham Council and Doctor and Councillor, Zahid Chauhan, regarding the new state of the art Health Check Service being launched in the Borough.
I was joined by my brilliant fellow Oldham colleagues, Debbie Abrahams and Angela Rayner alongside our fantastic Shadow Secretary of state for Health, Jon Ashworth.
The afternoon was an informative one and provided great insight into the state of Health Services in Oldham, what it will look like going forward and how the new Health Check Service will help people in the area keep up with their health and identify issues much sooner than expected, reducing long term impact on themselves and the services.
The new Health Check Service looks to identify problems at a much earlier stage, allowing for better pre-emptive treatment and checks rather than the traditional reactionary treatment. It will do this by expanding upon the free checks already administered by GP’s for all who use the NHS, this is done by inviting those of ages 40-74 for additional checks once every 5 years.
These checks will hopefully work to identify the early signs and risk factors of diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and kidney disease. The checks will allow doctors to give tailored advice to patients who may be at risk of developing one of these diseases.
In the first 5 years of Health Check, the service has prevented 2500 heart attacks and strokes nationally. Statistically, for every 27 people having an NHS Health Check, one person is diagnosed with high blood pressure. For every 110, one person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And for every 265 people, one is diagnosed with Kidney Disease.
All of these diagnoses are usually caught much sooner and therefore are more treatable, while many of these would have gone unnoticed without the Health Check and many will have proved fatal.
I think this service will be a huge boost to people in Oldham and will help prevent many deaths across the years. This service will come into effect from April 2020 and is an excellent addition to our health services in Oldham.