East Riding of Yorkshire Council ‘fails to invite more than 40,000 residents to vital health check’

The check is designed to spot early symptoms of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.
The check is designed to spot early symptoms of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

More than 40,000 people in the East Riding have not been invited for a vital health check that spots early signs of several life-threatening conditions.

Adults aged between 40 and 74 in England should be invited for an NHS health check-up by their local authority every five years.

The check is designed to spot risk factors and early symptoms of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

Public Health England estimates that there are 109,200 people in the East Riding who were eligible for the check in the five years to June 2019.

However, figures from the health body show just 59% of them were sent an invite by the council during that time – meaning 44,400 people missed out.

Nikki Joule, policy manager at Diabetes UK, said the figures were “extremely concerning”.

“Local authorities have a legal duty to offer a health check to everyone who is eligible, but this clearly isn’t happening,” she said.

In the East Riding, the take-up rate has risen to a for the fourth consecutive year.

Of the people invited for a test between April and June this year, 72% took up the offer, compared to 6.8% during the same period in 2015-16.

It is still lower than the peak of 86.4% in 2013-14.

Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said councils wanted to do more to improve uptake, particularly among high risk groups, but warned more money was needed.

An East Riding of Yorkshire Council spokesperson said: “Health Checks are provided free of charge to East Riding residents aged 40 to 74 years old who have not previously been diagnosed with a long-term condition, such as heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure.

“We are currently reviewing the effectiveness of the way we invite eligible residents for Health Checks to ensure the people who can most benefit are invited and that resources are most effectively used to benefit these residents.

“Health Checks are currently available from local East Riding Leisure centres, Health Trainers and participating General Practices. Some local pharmacies also offer NHS Health Checks in store.

“For more information, availability and contact numbers please see https://www.eastriding.gov.uk/living/health-and-wellbeing/nhs-health-checks/”