Social Prescribers – NHS Health Checks

The NHS Health Check is a free check-up for patient’s health. It can tell patient’s whether they are at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke.

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How the service works

An NHS Health Check takes about 20-30 minutes and it can also be one or two appointments.

The health professional, often a nurse or healthcare assistant, will ask you some simple questions about your lifestyle and family history, measure your height and weight, and take your blood pressure and do a blood test.

Based on this, they will be able to give you an idea of your chances of getting heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes.

If patients are over 65, they will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for.

They will then receive personalised advice to lower any health risk. This could include talking about:

  • How to improve their diet and the amount of physical activity they do
  • Taking medicines to lower their blood pressure or cholesterol
  • How to lose weight or stop smoking

Who is eligible?

A patient should be eligible for an NHS Health Check if:

  • the patients is aged 40-74 AND
  • they haven’t had a stroke
  • don’t already have heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease
  • smokes and/or has a BMI above 25

Patients should be invited by their practice every 5 years from the age of 40.

Patients can check with their general practice as to whether they are eligible for an NHS Health Check, and if they can have an invitation if they have not already received one.