Healthy ex-mayor has no mid-life crisis

Councillor Gordon Perham and Practice Nurse Michelle Morgan
Councillor Gordon Perham and Practice Nurse Michelle Morgan

A new short film about a Leighton-Linslade councillor have his ‘mid-life MoT’ is being used to encourage residents to take up the free NHS Health Check.

The video, aimed at 40- to 74-year-olds, features former mayor Councillor Gordon Perham, who sits on both the town and Central Beds councils, having his test at at Leighton Road Surgery, Leighton Buzzard.

The 60-year-old, of Mowbray Drive, said: “I’m not usually one to visit the doctor’s surgery, unless I’m really unwell, but I thought the NHS Health Check was well worth 20 minutes of my time with the Practice Nurse.

“Overall, my health was pretty good but my appointment did pick up that my blood pressure was higher than it should have been and, if left unnoticed, that could have increased my risk of a heart attack or stroke.

“So I’m grateful that my blood pressure is now under regular review at the doctor’s surgery.”

NHS Health Checks are available to over 40s who aren’t currently diagnosed with a long-term condition like diabetes or angina, but in Central Bedfordshire just 51 per cent of people respond to the NHS Health Check invitation from their local GP surgery. The new short film is part of ongoing work to promote the benefits of the checks to eligible local residents.

The 20-minute check assesses your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and raises awareness of dementia – conditions that can often be prevented.

It includes taking measurements such as your height, weight and cholesterol level and asking questions about your lifestyle and family medical history.

This information is used to calculate your risk of these health problems and means that personalised advice on how to reduce your risk can be offered, helping you stay healthy for longer.

Celia Shohet, assistant director of Central Beds Council’s public health team said: “The NHS Health Check is designed to help detect potential, often preventable problems, before they do real damage. So if you’re invited for a free NHS Health Check, I really recommend taking up your invite.”

If you are eligible, your local GP surgery will invite you for an NHS Health Check once every five years, but you don’t have to wait for an invite – you can also contact your GP surgery to make an appointment.

Every year, the NHS Health Check is expected to help save 650 lives, prevent 1,600 heart attacks and strokes and prevent 4,000 people from developing type 2 diabetes.

To find out more about free NHS Health Checks and to check your eligibility, visit