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Free health checks at Ipswich’s Sailmakers Shopping Centre for people aged 40-74

PUBLISHED: 16:53 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:54 14 November 2017

Magan Felton, of OneLife Sufflk�s engagement team, with Sailmakers employee Lee Markwell. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Magan Felton, of OneLife Sufflk�s engagement team, with Sailmakers employee Lee Markwell. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

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Free health checks on offer at a shopping centre in Ipswich could save lives, a nurse has said.

OneLife Suffolk has taken up residence at Sailmakers Shopping Centre until December 17 to provide simple assessments that will detect early warning signs which, if left untreated, could lead to a stroke or heart attack.

The half an hour examinations are open to people aged 40-74 who have not already been diagnosed with a cardio-vascular disease, diabetes or kidney disease, or had an NHS health check in the last five years.

Nurse Fiona Needham, who is the clinical governance lead for health checks at OneLife Suffolk, is urging members of the public to take up the opportunity.

She said: “It only takes half an hour but it’ll be the best half an hour you’ll spend. It could save your life.

“About one out of every 15 health checks pick up someone who didn’t know that they had high blood pressure. Without intervention that puts them at much higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, or damaging their kidneys irreversibly.

“One out of every 100 checks also diagnoses someone with diabetes. We can pick these things up early, intervene quickly and provide lifestyle advice.

“Our target is to complete 1,000 checks over the next seven weeks. We’ve already done a number of checks and had interested shoppers who will come back when they have more time.”

Ms Needham said she hoped staff from nearby businesses would also drop by for a health MOT.

Natasha Rivers, programme manager for OneLife Suffolk, said: “The aim of the NHS Health Check is to capture early signs of disease and support people in committing to lifestyle changes which could reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and vascular dementia.”

Mike Sorhaindo, manager of Sailmakers Shopping Centre, has welcomed the new offering.

He said: “This really is a fantastic opportunity that OneLife Suffolk are offering and something it’s well worth taking advantage of.

“We’re happy to be hosting it here at Sailmakers Shopping Centre and I would urge as many people as possible to take advantage of it.”

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