What is the NHS Health Check?
The NHS Health Check is a routine check-up of your overall health for all adults aged 40 to 74. It is designed to highlight whether or not you are at high risk of common illnesses and conditions that affect you in later periods of life.
Why is it important?
Based on the answers given to the questions and the blood test provided, the pharmacist will be able to provide you valuable advice and information about the chances of you developing serious conditions like strokes, kidney and heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If you are 65 or over, the pharmacist will be able to discuss the common symptoms of dementia to better prepare you to identify early signs should you develop it in the future.
What conditions and diseases are normally tested for?
There are a host of conditions and diseases that are tested for during a health check. For instance:
- Kidney and heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High Blood pressure (Hypertension)
What is included in an NHS Health Check?
Every 5 years between 40 and 74 years of age, you’ll be invited in for an NHS health check. This consultation should take no more than 25 to 30 minutes. The community pharmacist conducting the health check will give you a set of question to answer regarding your overall health and routines from exercise to the types of food you’re eating.
Your height and weight will be measured, and a small blood test will be completed. This will be very quick and should be painless. After the health check is complete, the community pharmacist will discuss the results and any concerns identified. The pharmacist will advise you on lifestyle interventions. If a pre-existing issue is known, then a discussion will be had as to your experiences and the areas with which you need to improve.
You can improve on your NHS health check
Factors that may be discussed that you can start to improve on are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Be physically active
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Stop smoking
- Cutting down or cutting out alcohol