Human MOT for people in Waveney

MORE than 5,000 people in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area will be invited to come forward for a 'human MOT.'Between January and March, everyone aged 40 to 74 will be invited into their GP practice for the health check, which will assess a person's risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

MORE than 5,000 people in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area will be invited to come forward for a 'human MOT.'

Between January and March, everyone aged 40 to 74 will be invited into their GP practice for the health check, which will assess a person's risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

The free check is like a human MOT and is part of a national programme involving questions and measurements including height, weight, medication, age, family history and blood pressure.

Dr Augustine Pereira, public health consultant from NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: 'The check will take about 20 to 30 minutes and consists of a brief medical history, lifestyle questionnaire, physical examination including blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement and calculation of your risk with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss which areas they are more concerned about. For some people there will also be a glucose levels check.

'Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease but the good news is that these can often be prevented - even if you have a history of them in your family.

'These checks will recognise those areas that may be a risk and give you personalised advice on how to reduce it - so they could be a life-saver over the coming years.'

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The checks will be carried out every five years so people can see how their lifestyle continues to affect their overall health. Each check will conclude with an action plan including practical advice on ways to effectively improve health and wellbeing.

Dr Pereira added: 'We really hope people take up this offer of a free health check to prevent future problems. Improving your health can have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of you and your family - as well as the community you live in.

'You will be given personal advice on how to lower your risks and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.'

Everyone who visits their GP practice for the health check in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area will be issued with a guide to take away.

The guide will offer useful information on free programmes offered by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney such as weight-management programmes, exercise programmes and the free stop smoking service which you can contact by texting QUIT to 65000.

Graham Dunhill, patient representative from Norfolk LINk, welcomed the initiative. He said: 'The invitation to have a health check is an offer no-one should refuse. I am sure we all prefer the health service to focus on prevention. The opportunity now exists for individuals to find out how healthy they are and if necessary change their lifestyle so that they can avoid the early onset of health problems.

'No matter what it tells us - better to change our lifestyle now than to react to an urgent situation later.'

A downloadable leaflet is available through the department of health's website detailing the reasons why you should have the check. Leaflets are available on the site in other languages including Polish, Russian, Portuguese and Turkish.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/DH_097490.

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