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Government to overhaul ‘one-size-fits-all’ NHS Health Checks


By Beth Gault
16 August 2019

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Health secretary Matt Hancock has announced plans to change NHS Health Checks in a bid to put an end to ‘one-size-fits-all’ check-ups.

At the launch of a review into NHS Health Checks in July, Mr Hancock said he hoped to create a more tailored check-up in order to better prevent and predict diseases.

NHS Health Checks are a standardised check-up currently offered to everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, and commissioned by the local council.

Under new plans, the checks will be more tailored depending on factors such as age, location and DNA. For example, drinking advice might be targeted towards 40-49-year-olds, and blood pressure advice to those between 70-74-years-old.

Those at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be offered less frequent, online check-ups.

The review will also look at a specific check-up for those approaching retirement age and ways to maximise uptake.

Of the 14 million people offered an NHS Health Check over the past five years, 7 million have undertaken one. The Department of Health and Social Care claims that out of these, 500 lives have been saved each year.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Personalised, preventative healthcare is a mission critical to the future-fit healthcare service we want to build. We must harness the latest technology and techniques to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach of the past.

‘The review we are announcing today will be an important step towards achieving that, helping us to find data-led, evidenced based ways to support people to spot, manage and prevent risks to their health through targeted intervention.’

Duncan Selbie, Public Health England chief executive, said: ‘Predictive prevention becomes ever more possible through genomics and the application of cutting-edge behavioural science.

‘NHS Health Checks have been phenomenally successful and this review is a great opportunity to make the next generation the most effective in the world.’

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