NHS HEALTH CHECKS

Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia.

The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented - even if you have a history of them in your family. Have your free NHS Health Check and you will be better prepared for the future and be able to take steps to maintain or improve your health. 


What is an NHS Health Check?

The NHS Health Check is a sophisticated check of your heart health. Aimed at adults in England aged 40 to 74, it checks your vascular or circulatory health and works out your risk of developing some of the most disabling – but preventable – illnesses.

Think of your NHS Health Check as being your "midlife MOT". It checks that some of your body's most important systems are all running smoothly. Among other things, your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI will all be checked and your results given to you.

Crucially, your NHS Health Check can detect potential problems before they do real damage. Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. The good news is that these conditions can often be prevented.

Your NHS Health Check will assess your risk of developing these health problems and give you personalised advice on how to reduce it.

It's free of charge, including any follow-up tests or appointments.


Why is the NHS Health Check so important?

Thousands of people have already had an NHS Health Check. They are now armed with information and support to reduce their risk of developing heart and vascular problems. Why not join them?

Together, the vascular conditions identified by the NHS Health Check are the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK, affecting more than 4 million people.

Every year, the NHS Health Check is expected to help:

  • save 650 lives
  • prevent 1,600 heart attacks and strokes
  • prevent 4,000 people from developing diabetes
  • detect at least 20,000 cases of diabetes or kidney disease earlier

If you want to avoid being a statistic, it's worth making an appointment for an NHS Health Check as soon as you get your invitation.

Find out more about why you should have an NHS Health Check.


How to get an NHS Health Check

You'll be invited for an NHS Health Check every five years if you are between 40 and 74 years old, as long as you don't have an existing vascular condition.

You'll usually get your NHS Health Check at a GP practice, Even if you don't qualify yet for an NHS Health Check, there are plenty of other ways to build up a picture of your health.


What happens at the NHS Health Check?

At the check, you'll be asked some questions about your lifestyle and family medical history. You'll also have some routine tests. From these, your healthcare professional will be able to give you an idea of your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. As well as a breakdown of your results, you'll get an overall score giving your risk of getting heart disease or stroke. If you're over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia, and you'll be made aware of memory services nearby.

After your results have been explained, you’ll be offered personalised advice and support to help stay healthy, and lower your risk if any of your results need improving. This advice could include suggestions on small changes to your diet or how much exercise you should take if your risk is low or moderate.

If you are at higher risk, your healthcare professional might want to discuss whether you should be taking medicines to control your blood pressure or cholesterol, along with help to take action such as losing weight, becoming more active or stopping smoking.

By having a routine NHS Health Check for these conditions every five years, you can take action early and greatly improve your chance of a longer, healthier and happier life. You may be surprised how some small, long-lasting changes to your lifestyle can make a huge difference.


How the NHS Health Check will help

Once you've had your NHS Health Check, you'll have a good idea of what your risk is of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia. There are some risk factors for these diseases that can't be changed; for example, your risk increases with age. But there's a lot you can do to reduce your risk. You can:

Your NHS Health Check will give you information and support to help you reach your health goals and enjoy a better quality of life. By acting to reduce your risk, you'll have more chance of dodging the debilitating and potentially disabling effects of illnesses such as diabetes and stroke.

NHS Health Check FAQ's 

NHS Health Check will assess your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia.

Here you will find the most FAQ's and answers to the NHS Health Check.

NHS Health Check: the basics

Why do I need an NHS Health Check?

How do I get an appointment for an NHS Health Check?

Where will my NHS Health Check happen?

What happens at my NHS Health Check?

What happens after my check?

Can I do an NHS Health Check online?

What if I’m not old enough for an NHS Health Check?

Why do you have to be over 40 to have an NHS Health Check?

How long does an NHS Health Check take?

Does the NHS Health Check hurt?

Is the NHS Health Check embarrassing?

Does the NHS Health Check involve taking clothes off?

NHS Health Check: the science

What does the NHS Health Check test for?

What is the evidence for the NHS Health Check?

What are the risks of having an NHS Health Check?

How does the NHS Health Check come up with an overall score?

NHS Health Check: privacy

What information is collected at an NHS Health Check?

Who sees the NHS Health Check results?

Are NHS Health Check results confidential?