Everyone has some risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented, even if there is a history of them in the family.

To help prevent the onset of these heath problems the NHS is inviting everyone in the borough aged 40 -74 for a FREE Health Check. These checks, which will be offered every five years, take between 20-30 minutes and involve a few questions about family history, lifestyle and any medication currently being taken, as well as a simple blood pressure and cholesterol test.

Both men and women can develop the conditions tested for in the check and as these conditions are often linked, having one condition can increase the risk of developing another in the future.

After the check, results are discussed and personalised advice offered on how to lower risk and maintain a healthy lifestyle, together with free healthy eating, weight loss or exercise classes if appropriate.

And the health check is recommended even for individuals who feel well as certain things such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking and drinking too much alcohol could put them at even greater risk.

The health checks are available at GP practice, some pharmacies in the borough and other community venues, including evening and weekend appointments with Solutions 4 Health.

For more general information visit www.nhs.uk/nhshealthcheck or call the NHS Health Check helpline on 0845 850 9850.