NHS health checks

Content last reviewed: April 2017


The NHS Health Check programme aims to prevent heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, and raise awareness of dementia both across the population and within high risk and vulnerable groups. Local authorities are responsible for making provision to offer an NHS Health Check to eligible individuals aged 40-74 years once every five years.

The NHS Health Check is made up of three key components: risk assessment, risk awareness and risk management. During the risk assessment standardised tests are used to measure key risk factors and establish the individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, those aged 65-74 should be made aware of the signs and symptoms of dementia and signposted to memory services if this is appropriate. The outcome of the assessment is then used to raise awareness of cardiovascular risk factors, as well as inform a discussion on, and agreement of, the lifestyle and medical approaches best suited to managing the individual’s health risk.

Population-level interventions are the most effective in tackling the structural causes of ill health. The NHS Health Check programme offers an opportunity to help people to live longer, healthier lives by promoting earlier awareness, assessment, and management of the major risk factors and conditions driving premature death, disability and health inequalities in England.

Underpinned by NICE evidence-based recommendations, the NHS Health check provides a significant opportunity to reduce early death, disability and health inequality as part of a suite of individual and population interventions being delivered across England.



Public Health England, 2016, NHS Health Checks Best Practice Guidance, London, Public Health.

Public Health England, 2016, Action on Cardiovascular Disease: Getting Serious about Prevention, London, Public Health.

Public Health England, 2017, Emerging evidence on the NHS Health Check: findings and recommendations. A report from the Expert Scientific and Clinical Advisory Panel, London, Public Health. 

Last updated Friday, 10th August 2018