Quick and easy - that’s how Christine Field, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for Community Wellbeing, described her recent free NHS health check.
She is now encouraging all eligible residents across the county to take advantage and have one themselves.
The health checks, which take 20-30 minutes, focus on preventing major causes of illness, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.
These conditions are often avoidable and a health check could help to identify any possible issues before a problem develops.
Christine said: “We all want to lead healthy, happy lives for longer and that’s why I think it’s important to make our own health a priority.
“A health check doesn’t take very long and there is nothing invasive to worry about, but it could make a difference to your future.
“We should all take advantage of opportunities to check our general health and to find out about any changes we can make ourselves to help to improve our wellbeing.”
Health checks can be booked through a number of methods from workplaces to doctors’ surgeries.
Christine had hers at County Hall, Chichester, as part of a series of workplace health checks run by healthcare provider ToHealth.
She added: “Recently we made free NHS Health Checks available to staff in County Hall. It was very easy for me to pop in so I’ve had my health check and I’m very glad I did.
“We recommend that other employers do the same. The ToHealth team will come to their premises so they just have to find a suitable time and place – there’s no charge. It’s a real benefit for staff but it’s also good for businesses to have a healthier workforce.”
Employers in West Sussex can arrange for free health checks to be held at their workplace for eligible employees by contacting 01243 624023.
Residents can also take advantage of the free health checks at participating GP surgeries, pharmacies and community clinics across West Sussex.
Having a health check can help to identify serious ‘hidden’ conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol that often don’t have symptoms but can mean you have a much higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Both these conditions can be treated by your GP.
Health checks must be booked in advance and are available to anyone aged between 40 and 74-years-old without an existing condition (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or kidney disease) and who hasn’t had a check in the last five years.
They are confidential and include a blood pressure check, a cholesterol test, a discussion about family history, and assessment of lifestyle factors (such as smoking) and levels of physical activity.
Find out more by visiting www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/healthchecks
West Sussex County Council’s Prevention Assessment Teams (PAT) also regularly run these health checks at community venues across the county. To find out about the dates and locations, please visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/pat