NHS Health Checks evaluated

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GP taking blood pressure

15 / 1 / 2016 4.08pm

The first major evaluation of the NHS Health Check in England was published yesterday in BMJ Open. This study was led by Queen Mary University over a four year period from 2009-2013. 

It found that the NHS Health Check is effectively identifying people at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A conservative estimate, based on medical treatment received by those at highest risk, suggests that over the first five years of the programme, at least 2,500 people would have avoided a heart attack or stroke. 

The NHS Health Check is a nationwide programme to help prevent heart attacks and strokes by offering a free check to all eligible adults aged 40-74.
The programme also helps patients to review their behavioural factors, such as smoking, inactivity, harmful drinking and obesity and offers professional advice and referral to lifestyle services to support behaviour change. It may also help detect undiagnosed serious conditions as people having the check were much more likely to have their major risk factors recorded than those receiving routine care.

Some key findings of the report show that referral rates to lifestyle services were:

  • twice as high for smokers, 
  • three-to-four times as high for people with obesity,
  • and six times higher for people with hazardous drinking than for those not receiving the health check.

The NHS Health Check is being rolled out cross 12 NHS organisations for their staff, as part of NHS England’s offer for workplace wellbeing, and is being evaluated this year. Find out more about the NHS England offer for workplace wellbeing.

Read the full report about NHS Health Checks from BMJ Open.

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