Doncaster MP backs life-saving health scheme

Rosie Winterton
Rosie Winterton

A Doncaster MP is helping to raise awareness of a scheme that spots men at risk of a life-threatening condition.

The Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme was launched in South Yorkshire in February.

Rosie Winterton attended a Westminster reception to mark the completion of the scheme’s rollout across England last week.

Now the Doncaster Central MP – and former health minister – is encouraging men across the borough aged 65 and over to make use of the programme.

Rosie said: “The Screening Programme offers men a quick, painless, one-off test to check for AAAs.

“The reality is men are much more likely to have this type of aneurysm than women, and the chance of having an aneurysm increases with age.

“If an aneurysm is detected early it can be monitored and, if necessary, treated. Research shows that screening men aged 65 will reduce the death rate from ruptured AAAs by around 50 per cent.

“I’d encourage all men who receive an appointment for AAA screening to take up the offer of a test. It is a vital health check.”

About one in 25 men aged 65 and over have an abdominal aortic aneurysm. They are caused when the main blood vessel in the abdomen – the aorta – weakens and starts to expand.

Helen McAlinney, AAA Screening Programme Coordinator for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, said: “It was great to be at the reception to mark the completion of the AAA Screening Programme rollout.

“We want the programme to be a success, not only in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, but across the country, so that the number of people who suffer ruptures and die from this treatable condition can be reduced.

“While the NHS Trust in your area will contact you if you are 65 this year to invite you for a free ultrasound check, anyone who is 65 or over can make an appointment to be checked out.

“This is something that we would encourage and ask all men in that age range to speak to their local Screening Programme.”

The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw AAA Screening Programme can be contacted on 01709 321189.