NHS Health Checks

The free check with your GP practice helps to identify potential risks early.

The free NHS Health Check is with a healthcare assistant at your GP practice. You don’t have to wait to be invited but you do have to be eligible. If you are between 40 and 74 contact your GP practice to find out.

A NHS Health Check aims to help you lower your risk of developing these common but often preventable diseases such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and some forms of dementia.

What's involved

The check will take around 20 to 30 minutes:

  • your height, weight, sex, ethnicity and age will be recorded
  • your blood pressure will be taken
  • a simple blood test will check your cholesterol level
  • your body mass index (BMI) will be calculated. BMI is a measure of whether you're a healthy weight for your height.
  • you will be asked some simple questions about your family history, whether or not you smoke and how much alcohol you drink.

Myth busters

Is it an intrusive examination?

No. The check is a simple examination with no embarrassing prodding or probing.

Do I have to take my clothes off?

No. It does not involve taking your clothes off or getting naked.

Is 40 too young to need an NHS Health Check?

No, it’s not. Now, more than ever younger men aged 40 are going for their NHS Health Check. 40 is not too young to detect health problems.

Surely, I’m too young to be worried about my health?

40 is not too young to detect health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia. It is much better to find out earlier on.

Will my appointment be with a GP?

No. The health check is with a healthcare assistant or practice nurse.

Is it a good use of public money?

Yes, it helps save the NHS billions in the long run by preventing and detecting illnesses earlier on

I know what changes I need to make, will I be lectured?

There is no lecturing or telling off, just friendly advice. The healthcare assistant wants to help you.

Is it worth my time?

Yes. It can and has saved lives, just 20 minutes can get you on the right path for a healthy life.

Advice

Following the check, you will receive free personalised advice about what you can do to stay healthy.

If the NHS Health Check does highlight any potential problems you will be offered plenty of advice and support to help you address them.

Case studies