The number of NHS health checks for Hertfordshire residents is at its highest level since the programme started five years ago.

Hertfordshire County Council’s latest figures show that more than 41,500 people in the county were offered a health check in the last year.

The NHS health check is given free to residents aged between 40 and 74 who do not already have any pre-existing conditions, and aims to identify those at risk of an serious but avoidable conditions such as diabetes.

The country council took on responsibility for the health check programme in April 2013,with the programme showing a considerable increase of offers up from 14,720 in 2012/3.

Teresa Heritage, cabinet member for public health and localism at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see more people than ever being offered and taking up a Health Check, but we want to do even better. With such a huge burden of disease associated with potentially avoidable conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, the NHS Health Check presents a real opportunity for individuals to take steps earlier, and through modifications in behaviour and lifestyle, reduce their risk.

“The success of the programme in Hertfordshire this year is testament to the dedicated collaborative work of the county council and the NHS. In order to maximise the benefits to public health it is essential that we continue increasing the impact of the programme.”