NHS Health Check

A check-up for adults aged 40-74. Spotting the early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health. It can tell whether you are at a higher risk of certain health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. During the check-up you will discuss how to reduce the risk of these conditions, and if you are over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia.

The NHS Health Check explained

Am I eligible?

The check is for people who are aged 40 to 74 who DO NOT have any of the following pre-existing conditions:

  • heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • transient ischaemic attack
  • inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • stroke
  • currently being prescribed statins to lower cholesterol
  • previous checks have found that you have a 20% or higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years

You should have regular check-ups if you have one of these conditions. Your care team will be able to give you more information about this.

How will the NHS Health Check help me?

You will have your individual cardiovascular risk (risk of getting conditions related to the heart or circulation) calculated and explained to you. While the cardiovascular risk levels vary from person to person, everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and some types of dementia. At your NHS Health Check you will be given advice on how to prevent them. Your NHS Health Check can detect potential health problems before they do real damage.

What happens at the appointment?

An NHS Health Check takes about 20 to 30 minutes. Our Nurse will ask you some questions about your lifestyle and family history, measure your height and weight, and take your blood pressure and do a blood test. Your blood test results can show your chances of getting heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. If you’re over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for. You will then receive personalised advice to improve your risk. This could include talking about:

  • how to improve your diet and the amount of physical activity you do
  • taking medicines to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol
  • how to lose weight or stop smoking

Do NHS Health Checks work?

The health conditions picked up by the NHS Health Check are, when added together, the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK, with around 7 million people affected by them. In its first 5 years, the NHS Health Check is estimated to have prevented 2,500 heart attacks or strokes. This is the result of people receiving treatment after their Health Check.

The latest research suggests that:

  • for every 30 to 40 people having an NHS Health Check, 1 person is diagnosed with high blood pressure
  • for every 80 to 200 people having a Health Check, 1 person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
  • for every 6 to 10 people having an NHS Health Check, 1 person is identified as being at high risk of cardiovascular disease

How do I book an NHS Health Check?

You can book an NHS Health Check by contacting your Surgery.

Wandle PCN also holds NHS Health Check events, one day programmes of Health Checks and opportunities to meet our Health and Wellbeing Coach and Social Prescriber, hosted for all Wandle PCN patients (meeting the eligibility criteria noted above) at one of our 5 practices. Our first event ran in January 2023 at the Earlsfield Practice. Check the website regularly for updates on the next one; we will be sending sms invitation messages soon…