For the start of the New Year, Sutton Council is urging people aged 40 to 74 to take a free NHS health check.

NHS health checks can be carried out at local GP surgeries, walk in clinics and hospitals, and involve assessments of test results including blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI), as well as personalised advice to improve general health.

Councillor Colin Stears, chairman of the council's adult social services and health committee, said: "This is a chance for Sutton residents to start the New Year off on the right foot and find out vital information about their health.

"If there is a potential problem, they can then take action at an early stage to help reduce the chances of chronic illness, disability or avoidable death in later life.

"To find out more, people should call or visit their GP surgery or contact a local health professional."

More than 650 lives a year could be saved if more free NHS health checks were taken up throughout England, it has been estimated.

The checks can identify problems early and prevent an estimated 1,600 heart attacks and 4,000 cases of diabetes a year.