NHS health checks

NHS health checks

The Isle of Wight Council does not provide this service directly. Contact your registered GP practice to book in for a health check.

What is an NHS health check?

The NHS Health Check is a free check-up available to those aged 40 – 74. It looks at your overall health and can tell you if you’re at higher risk of health problems such as

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • stroke

You will be able to discuss actions on how to reduce your risk of developing these conditions.

Those aged over 65, will be told about the symptoms of dementia and what to look out for.

Who is the NHS Health Check for?

NHS Health Checks are for people aged 40 to 74 years old, and 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

It is important to have regular check-ups if you have any of these conditions. Your GP and care team will be able to provide more information.

How do I get an NHS Health Check?

Those aged 40 to 74 that do not have a pre-existing health condition, should be invited to an NHS Health Check. This will be through your GP surgery every 5 years.

If you are eligible for a free NHS Health Check, but have not been invited, contact your GP surgery to see if they offer NHS Health Checks.

Anyone aged 75 or over, and not had a Health Checks within the last 12 months, can request a general health review consultation with their GP practice.

What happens at an NHS Health Check?

NHS Health Checks are carried out by a healthcare professional, such as a nurse or healthcare assistant.

NHS Health Checks take 20 to 30 minutes and include

  • Measuring your height and weight
  • Measuring your waist
  • A blood pressure test
  • A cholesterol test

You will be asked a few questions about your health

  • Whether any of your close relatives have had any medical conditions
  • If you smoke, and how much
  • If you drink alcohol, and how much
  • How much physical activity you do

Your age, gender and ethnicity will also be recorded.

Your NHS Health Check results

  • You are usually given your results during the appointment.
  • You will get your cardiovascular risk score. This gives you your risk of developing a heart or circulation problem, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes or kidney disease, over the next 10 years.
  • The healthcare practitioner may describe your cardiovascular risk score as low, moderate or high.
  • Everybody's cardiovascular risk rises with age. The next time you have an NHS Health Check your risk score may be higher, even if your test results don’t change.
  • There are some risk factors you cannot change such as your age, ethnicity and family history; and there are some important risk factors that you can change such as smoking, cholesterol level and blood pressure.
  • You will have the chance to discuss your results at the end of your Health Check. This includes how to improve your scores and where you can get support.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your results with your healthcare practitioner and how to improve your scores, including where you can get support. This may include a discussion about how to

  • improve your diet
  • increase the amount of exercise you do
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking
  • reduce the amount of salt in your diet
  • reduce your alcohol intake
  • reduce your cholesterol

What are the benefits of the NHS Health Check

Many warning signs for conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, do not have symptoms. The NHS Health Check aims to find out your risk of getting these conditions. Knowing your risk factor allows you to take action to improve your health. This could include making changes to your lifestyle or taking medication.

The risk factors assess during the Health Check are often shared by other conditions. This can include: type 2 diabetes, preventable cancers and respiratory illness. Dementia and heart disease also share common risk factors.

An NHS Health Check could help reduce the chance of developing these conditions.

Information taken from: NHS Health Check - NHS (www.nhs.uk)