NHS Health Check

NHS Health Check programme

Helping you prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease

Working together to improve your health

Everyone is at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes or kidney disease. 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.
Even if you're feeling well, it's worth having your NHS Health Check now. We can then work with you to lower your chances of developing these health problems in the future.

Why do I need an NHS Health Check?

We know that your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease increases with age. There are also certain things that will put you at even greater risk. These are:
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol 
Both men and women can develop these conditions, and having one of these conditions could increase your risk of developing another in the future.
  • In the brain a blocked artery or a bleed can cause a stroke
  • In the heart a blocked artery can cause a heart attack or angina
  • The kidneys can be damaged by high blood pressure or diabetes, causing chronic kidney disease and increasing your risk of having a heart attack
  • Being overweight and a lack of exercise can lead to type 2 diabetes
  • If unrecognised or unmanaged, type 2 diabetes could increase your risk of further health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease and stroke 

What happens at the check?

This check is to assess your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease or stroke.
  • The check will take about 20-30 minutes
  • You'll be asked some simple questions e.g. about your family history and any medication you are currently taking
  • We'll record your height, weight, age, sex and ethnicity
  • We'll take your blood pressure
  • We'll do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol level and blood sugar level

What happens after the check?

We will discuss how we can support you to reduce your risk and stay healthy.
  • You'll be taken through your results and told what they mean. Some people may be asked to return at a later date for their results.
  • You'll be given personalised advice on how to lower your risk and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Some people with raised blood pressure will have their kidneys checked through a blood test.
  • Treatment or medication may be prescribed to help you maintain your health 

Why do I need this check? I feel fine!

You can’t always tell by looking, but we’re all at risk. The NHS Health Check helps to identify potential risks early. By having this check and following the advice of your health professional, you improve your chances of living a healthier life.

But don't these conditions run in the family?

If you have a history of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes or kidney disease in your family then you may be more at risk. Taking action now can help you to prevent the onset of these conditions.

I know what I'm doing wrong, how can the doctor help me?

If you would like help, we will work with you to find ways to reach your healthy weight, take more exercise or stop smoking. You may be prescribed medication to help lower your risk.

If I am assessed as being at 'low risk', does this mean I won't develop these conditions?

It is impossible to say that someone will or won't go on to develop one of these conditions, but taking action now can help you lower your potential risk.

Will everyone have this check?

This check is part of a new national scheme to help prevent the onset of these health problems. Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 who has not been diagnosed with the conditions mentioned will be invited for a check once every five years. If you are outside the age range and concerned about your health, you should contact your GP.

Where can I have an NHS Health Check?

You can ask for an NHS Health Check at your GP practice. 

Further information