Free Check Ups

NHS North East Essex is starting a new scheme where people are given free health checks at work.

The project is specifically looking at heart health so checking for any early warning signs of things like heart disease.

Staff of some of the area’s largest employers are being given the chance to have their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels tested.

 The initiative is part of the national NHS Health Check screening programme to detect individuals in the 40-74-year-old age group who are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Dr Farman Ali, Commissioning Manager at NHS North East Essex, said: “Vascular disease is the single largest cause of long-term ill health and disability, impairing the quality of life for many people. By taking early action, you can improve your health and prevent the onset of vascular disease.”

 The NHS Health Check is a standard assessment made up of various questions and measurements which look at age, gender, height, weight, body mass index, smoking, levels of physical activity, ethnic background, family history, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

Employees of Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council, Essex County Council, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust and NHS North East Essex will be the first to benefit from nurse-led clinics at their workplace during March 2010.

 Farman added: “Everyone who has a health check will be given free personalised advice detailing their results and will be signposted to any relevant medical and lifestyle services in order to be able to reduce the risk by commencing appropriate treatments. The results will be shared with their GP.”

 If the initiative proves successful, it may be extended to employees of other organisations across north east Essex.