NHS Health Check

What is an NHS Health Check?

The NHS Health Check is a sophisticated check of your heart health, it 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 running smoothly.

Crucially, your NHS Health Check can detect potential problems before they do real damage. Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 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.

How do I get an NHS Health Check?

The NHS Health Check is aimed at adults aged 40-74. If you fall in to this age group and are not already being reviewed by your GP for a circulatory condition you can expect to be invited for an NHS Health Check every five years.

The invitation will usually be sent by letter from your GP but you may be invited by telephone or offered an appointment for an NHS Health Check in person if you are visiting your GP practice.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got your invitation yet, you will be invited for one over the next few years.
If you have already had an NHS Health Check you can expect to have another one in five years’ time.

What should I do if I get a letter?

It’s worth making an appointment for an NHS Health Check as soon as you get your invitation, even if you feel fit and well.

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. It’s not only an opportunity to put right emerging problems, but to get personalised advice on keeping yourself healthy and active in the future.

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 including checking your blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (BMI). From these tests your healthcare professional will be able to work out 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.

After your results have been explained, you’ll be offered personalised advice and support to help you stay healthy and lower your risk if any of your results need improving. You may be given advice about making small changes to your diet or becoming more physically active, or your healthcare professional might want to discuss whether you should be taking some medicines to control your blood pressure or cholesterol.

You might also be offered a referral to a local service like the Better living service or Calderdale Stop Smoking Service|External link who will be able to give you further support.

I’m not eligible for an NHS Health Check – where can I get some advice?

If you don’t think you qualify for an NHS Health Check you can still get some advice and support to help you make some changes and live a healthier lifestyle.

If you are especially worried about your health you can always book an appointment with your GP or practice nurse to discuss your concerns.

Alternatively, the Better Living Team are on hand to give you information and support to help you reach your health goals and enjoy a better quality of life. Contact them on 01422 230230 or by emailing blt@calderdale.gov.uk to find out how they could help you.

You could also take the online heart age test|External link to see how healthy your heart is.

Where can I find out more about the NHS Health Check?

For more information about the NHS Health Check visit the NHS Choices|External link website or read through some more frequently asked questions|External link.

Last Updated: 05/10/2015