28 / 10 / 2015 3.05pm
NHS Health Checks can help identify the early signs of dangers like high blood pressure or heart disease. They also signpost people to the right advice and support to take personal action to lower health risks.
Leading organisations commit to:
- providing the NHS Health Check at work for staff aged 40 or over – so that staff are able to access it more easily, and receive better signposting and support; and
- testing ways of extending health assessments to other groups to build the evidence base about what is most effective to help staff stay healthy.
People aged 40-74 are already entitled to an NHS Health Check (once every five years), including biometric tests, to assess their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. They are then given support and advice to help them reduce or manage that risk. Under a quarter of those eligible have so far had an NHS Health Check, and there is no evidence about whether NHS staff are more or less likely to have a check than the rest of the population.
The healthy workplaces team proposes that NHS trust employees should be offered the opportunity to have their health check at their place of work. This would make it easier for them to attend the appointment, and will also help more effective signposting and referring to appropriate local advice and support services, particularly services offered by the Trust.
We will pilot two additional standardised questions: one to raise awareness and open a discussion on mental health and stress, and the second focussed on musculoskeletal risk. This would contribute to the evidence base in these two significant areas of sickness absence risk.
The team will also explore how this evidence-based approach could be extended to test providing a health assessment for other identified groups. Trusts might choose to focus on a group who are identified as being at higher risk of having health or wellbeing issues (e.g. staff with particularly stressful frontline jobs), staff in an area with a high sickness absence rate, or new starters (as part of the induction rather than recruitment process).