The 20-minute test that could save your life

Health care assistant Louise Barker, with a patient on the First Stop Health bus, parked at Tesco car park, Hindley, every Thursday, for members of the public to get health checks and advice.
Health care assistant Louise Barker, with a patient on the First Stop Health bus, parked at Tesco car park, Hindley, every Thursday, for members of the public to get health checks and advice.
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A SIMPLE 20 minute test that could save thousands of lives will be available to Wearsiders from today.

The city’s NHS health checks are free to residents between 40 and 74 years old, and aim to provide a quick and painless way to prevent killer diseases including heart attacks and strokes.

A series of roadshows begins today when the Active bus will be at Southwick shopping centre, between 10am and 4pm, with experts on hand to carry out the checks.

Tomorrow the roadshow reaches Asda, Grangetown, between 2pm and 6pm, before moving onto Pallion Retail Park on Wednesday, again from 2pm to 6pm.

One person who knows the value of health checks only too well is Wearsider Dave Cook.

He found he had a higher then normal level of cholesterol when he went along for a health check.

Dave said: “I decided to have one as I’m over 40 and there are so many health complications out in the community, especially cancer.

“I’m already as fit as possible so when I had the check I expected a good result, which I got, but my cholesterol was a tad above normal.”

Since the check, Dave has changed his diet and is now much more aware of his health and what he eats.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “NHS Health Checks are all about improving people’s health and preventing the biggest killers such as heart attacks and strokes.”

Nonnie Crawford, Director of Public Health, added: “People are often unaware that they’ve developed a problem until it’s too late.”