NHS Health Checks help detect patients with diabetes
14th November 2013 | By Liz Mattock | Posted in NHS Health Checks
A check to assess whether patients are at risk of developing serious long term health conditions has helped to detect hundreds of diabetic patients that didn’t previously know they had the condition.
The NHS Health Check project was launched in 2011 and offers patients aged 40 to 74, who are registered with a GP in the city, a 30 minute check to detect underlying health conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease and stroke, as well as assess their risk of developing health problems relating to their condition in the future.
In 2012/13 more than 24,048 people took part in a health check. Out of these 24,048, a total of 924 people were newly diagnosed as diabetic and 60 per cent of these people would not have been picked up if they were living elsewhere in the country.
Dr Nitin Joshi, Leicester City CCG GP Lead for Health Checks, said: “We are really pleased with the results we have seen. By testing people opportunistically, so when they attend the surgery for a regular appointment or to pick up a prescription we have been able to detect problems earlier for patients. Once a condition is detected, patients will be provided with the advice and support they need to stay healthy and reduce their risk of diabetes and a number of other serious health conditions.
“Our research has shown that by taking the national NHS Health Check programme and delivering it locally in a way that meets the need of our local diverse population and the many different communities living within it, we have seen greater results in uptake. By detecting health problems earlier patients can now make positive changes to either prevent themselves from developing a serious condition or manage an existing newly diagnosed condition more effectively. Ultimately we can help them to live a longer, healthier life.”
Since April 2013, the health checks have been commissioned by Leicester City Council, as part of the council’s public health responsibilities.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who leads on health, said: “These results show how taking a few simple steps to diagnose potential health conditions early can make a big difference to people’s overall health. I’m pleased that these health checks have had such a positive impact.”
Since the project began in 2011, approximately 53,000 health checks have been carried out in Leicester City patients.
To be eligible for the check people must be between 40 and 74 years of age, live in the city, be registered with a GP practice within the city and have not previously been diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), peripheral vascular disease (PVD) or high blood pressure.
More information can be found on the Leicester City CCG website http://www.leicestercityccg.nhs.uk/ or contact your GP practice to make an appointment to have a check now. You can also visit the website to find your nearest GP if you are not already registered with one in the city as well as a download an information leaflet.
Notes to editors:
Since April 2013 Leicester City Council have commissioned the CCG to deliver the health checks.
Leicester City CCG is one of the new commissioning organisations established as result of the recent changes within the NHS. One of the most richly diverse yet disadvantaged cities in the country, Leicester faces more than its fair share of challenges. On average local people die up to two years earlier than the national average, with heart and lung disease the main causes. Harnessing the innovation of local doctors and other clinicians, supported by dedicated managers and staff, the CCG is aiming to rid the city of many of its health inequalities as part of its ambition of helping local people live longer, healthier lives. The CCG, which is made up of 63 GP practices, covers the same area as Leicester City Council and is responsible for a population of over 350,000. It has a commissioning budget of nearly £365million.
National guidance advises CCGs to offer health checks as part of a rolling programme, writing out to patients between the age of 40 and 74 and recalling them every five years. Leicester City Council commissions the health check programme and Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) took the decision to offer checks opportunistically, as and when patients would attend the practice for an appointment with their GP.
Across the UK health checks are typically offered to patients if they are over 55, but locally it was decided to widen the age criteria (40) as a result of the specific health problems in the city – with people in the city typically starting to develop long term health problems earlier.