LANCASHIRE residents are being urged to take up the offer of free health checks when invited by their local GP surgery as part of a countywide health campaign.
The campaign, run by Lancashire County Council, is called Stay Healthy for Those You Love. It is aimed at people aged between 40 and 74.
Posters featuring images of parents and grandparents with their families will be displayed on billboards, buses, football grounds, at train and bus stations, and doctors’ surgeries. There will also be a series of radio adverts.
The campaign will encourage people to get a health check when invited by their GP, and even if they don’t feel they need to do it for themselves, to do it for those they love.
County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We know a lot of people are worried about going to the doctor and getting themselves checked out – but most of the time they will not discover anything serious.
“The check will take less than 20 minutes and will look at your lifestyle, weight, family medical history, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
“If the doctor picks up on any factors which could lead to health problems, they will advise you on lifestyle changes that can help you stay well.
“The checks are a great way to stay fit and healthy for yourself and your loved ones.”
Dr Adam Janjua, GP and vice-chair of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We now know that only a small fraction of people with underlying health issues are diagnosed early on in their illness.
“Major killers such as diabetes, heart, vascular and kidney diseases can be prevented by identifying a patient’s risk factors earlier on in life. High blood pressure, a major cause of strokes, can remain undetected and without any symptoms until it is too late.
“The health check offers people some insight into how likely they are to suffer from things such as a stroke or heart attack and gives them an opportunity to change their future, for the better.
The Department of Health has introduced yearly health checks for 40 to 74 year-olds following research that shows they could save as many as 650 lives each year in England.