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Preventing illness and improving health for all: a review of the NHS Health Check programme and recommendations - December 2021

In 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care asked Public Health England to carry out an evidence-based review of the current NHS Health Check programme. 

The review report and its recommendations present a vision for the future of the NHS Health Check programme. Recommendations include launching a digital offer, making the NHS Health Check available to people from a younger age, and addressing more conditions through the NHS Health Check. 

The review work was completed by PHE in September 2021, and on 1 October 2021, responsibility for national oversight of the NHS Health Check programme was transferred to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. The review can be accessed here

An Umbrella Review on Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Cardiovascular Disease and COVID-19 - May 2021

Public Health England commissioned the Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Liverpool to conduct an umbrella review to systematically examine the associations between cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and COVID-19.

The evidence shows that people with CVD have 3.9 times higher odds of severe COVID-19 and 2.7 times higher odds of mortality. High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and current and former smoking were also associated with more severe outcomes from COVID-19.

The full umbrella review report produced by the University of Liverpool can be found here. A summary paper produced by Public Health England detailing the key findings can be found here.  

Analysis of physical activity and alcohol measurements in NHS Health Checks - March 2021

Public Health England commissioned Staffordshire University to conduct an analysis of physical activity and alcohol consumption measurements in NHS Health Checks, using an existing dataset of 171 video-recorded NHS Health Checks from their Risk Communication in NHS Health Checks study (RICO). Researchers analysed the extent to which recommended tools to measure physical activity and alcohol consumption were completed during an NHS Health Check, and compared the recording of these two risk factor measurements in clinical records with observed practice from video recorded NHS Health Checks. A summary paper details the key findings from the research and the implications for NHS Health Check commissioners. The full research report produced by Staffordshire University can be viewed here. 


NHS Health Check delivery model survey - March 2021

In 2020, Public Health England undertook a survey to understand the local models used to deliver NHS Health Checks in 2019/20. This report summarises the findings from the survey responses, providing an important snapshot of how the NHS Health Check service is currently implemented. It also highlights changes in practice since 2014 and potential considerations for any future developments to the programme.


HBA1c Point of Care Testing (POCT) Evidence Review - November 2020

Public Health England commissioned The University of Exeter to undertake an evidence review on the accuracy and validity of HbA1c POCT devices, and the delivery conditions required to ensure that the POCT devices are as accurate as possible. The review also identified relevant national and international guidelines. The full report detailing the findings can be found here.

NHS Health Check programme: updated evidence review 2020

The University of Sunderland and Newcastle University jointly undertook a rapid review of evidence published on the NHS Health Check programme. This was an update to the 2017 review and includes evidence from the original review (studies published between 2009 and 2016) alongside evidence indexed until the end of December 2019. The full report detailing the findings can be found here.

NHS Health Check commissioning - February 2018

In February 2018, a review of commissioner’s current and potential use of weighted financial remuneration was published alongside a number of case studies and top tips. The report includes details of the literature review carried out and provides recommendations for commissioners.

You can download the review from the following link:

NHS Health Check commissioning: Commissioner’s current and potential use of weighted financial remuneration

Emerging evidence on the NHS Health Check: findings and recommendations - February 2017

On 8 February 2017, the NHS Health Check Expert Scientific and Clinical Advisory Panel published its first report on emerging evidence. The report summarises key findings from an evidence synthesis completed by the University of Cambridge and RAND. It also makes important recommendations for practice and research.

You can download both documents from the following links:

Emerging evidence on the NHS Health Check: findings and recommendations

NHS Health Check rapid evidence synthesis

Evaluation of the dementia component

In 2016, PHE commissioned Solutions Research to evaluate practitioners and patients experiences of the dementia component in the NHS Health Check. Findings from this qualitative research can be found in the full report.

NHS Health Check stocktake report

In 2016, Public Health England commissioned Research Works to evaluate local authority commissioners views on:

The findings from this work are available in the full report.

Rapid Appraisals

As part of its role in keeping the evidence under review, ESCAP produced rapid appraisals of scientific papers. Papers were only appraised by ESCAP if they had a) a large sample size b) a robust method and c) achieve a high level of coverage in the media.

National evaluation - May 2016

Inter 99 FAQ - Oct 2014

Inter99 trial - June 2014

Use of behavioural insights to increase uptake of the NHS Health Check - February 2014

Behavioural Insights - NHS Health Checks

Increasing Uptake of the NHS Health Check in Medway

Medway Results Summary

NHS Health Check Delivery model survey 2013/14.

To improve understanding of NHS Health Check delivery practice and the delivery model characteristics associated with higher uptake, all local authorities in England were invited to complete a survey. The survey considered: commissioning, identifying and inviting the eligible population, appointment booking procedures, delivery of the NHS Health Check, managing risk and resources. The full report can be found here.

Sponsored Research Programmes

Department of Health

At the beginning of 2012, two small-scale independent studies on the NHS Health Check programme were commissioned by the Department of Health and funded through its Policy Research Programme. The studies aimed to provide an early assessment of the programme outcomes since phased implementation began in 2009. Both studies were published in early 2016, one being led by Dr Robson, Barts & the London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the other  by Prof. Majeed, Imperial College London. Both studies are available online:

Robson J, Dostal I, Sheikh A, et al. The NHS Health Check in England: an evaluation of the first 4 years. BMJ Open 2016; 6: e008840. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2015-008840

Chang K, Lee J, Eszter P, et al. Impact of the National Health Service Health Check on cardiovascular disease risk: a difference-in-differences matching analysis. CMAJ 2016. DOI:10.1503/ cmaj.151201

Page reviewed: 21/10/2022

Top Tips

Our top tips draw on current evidence and aim to help inform local decisions on how the NHS Health Check programme is delivered

Top Tips - NHS Health Check leaflets and campaigns.

Top Tips – Talking about Dementia

Top Tips – Increasing take-up 

Top Tips – Maximising impact