Town councillor Terry Gandy has been petitioning NHS South West Essex to include Billericay in the scheme for over 40's to get free health checks for the past two years.
The health “MoT” checks have been available in Basildon and Thurrock since 2009, but are now being rolled out across Billericay.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#666" color="#666" title="Town councillor Terry Gandy"]When this scheme was first brought out in Basildon and Thurrock I asked why Billericay was being left out? “I was told that the town wasn’t ‘deprived’ enough to qualify. “I was outraged by this and fired off numerous letters to the trust pointing out we have two officially deprived areas here in Billericay – Queen’s Park and South Green – and we should not be left out.[/quote]
“I’m pleased the trust had finally listened to me and implemented the scheme here in Billericay. These tests can pick up on some very serious conditions so they are potentially life-saving.”
Six GP surgeries across Billericay have now signed up to the scheme, as have two pharmacies – Boots and Shadforths chemist. The checks are aimed at 40 to 74 year olds and aim to pick up on undiagnosed heart disease, stroke, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The test is based on questions, measurements, a blood test along with checks for blood pressure and cholesterol levels, assesses a patient’s risk of developing these diseases.
Following the check up patients receive personalised advice about what they can do to stay healthy. A spokesman for NHS South West Essex said: “The check is like an MoT for the body and is designed to pick up early someone’s risk of these four diseases. “Establishing someone’s risk of these diseases, which together are the largest cause of death in the UK, means the NHS can give them the support they need to lower their risk at the earliest opportunity.”
Participating GPs in Billericay will now be writing to their patients to inform them they can now get the check.
Alternatively call 0800 5879159 for more details.