NHS Health Checks

The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74. It's designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.

The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your overall health. It can tell you whether you're at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as:

During the check-up you'll also discuss how to reduce your risk of these conditions and dementia.

If you're over 65, you will also be told the signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for.

What the NHS Health Check tells you

After your NHS Health Check you'll be given your risk of developing a heart or circulation problem over the next 10 years.

Your doctor may describe this as low, moderate or high. This means: 

  • Low - you have less than a 10% chance of a heart or circulation problem in the next 10 years
  • Moderate - you have a 10-20% chance of a heart or circulation problem in the next 10 years
  • High - you have more than a 20% chance of a heart or circulation problem in the next 10 years

Your risk rises with age, so the next time you have an NHS Health Check your risk score may be higher, even if your test results remain the same.

Your NHS Health Check results should also be broken down into:

  • your body mass index (BMI)
  • your blood pressure
  • your cholesterol level
  • your alcohol use score
  • your physical activity assessment result
  • your diabetes risk assessment

You'll then have the chance to discuss how to improve your scores

Getting an NHS Health Check

If you're in the 40 to 74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you should receive a letter from your GP surgery or local council inviting you for a free NHS Health Check every 5 years.

You can also call your GP surgery to book a Health Check.

You can also try the NHS Check your Heart Age tool.

NHS Health Check process

NHS Health Checks are usually conducted by a healthcare professional in your doctor’s surgery but from time to time can be provided elsewhere, such as from mobile units.

Your NHS Health Check will take around 30 minutes.

You will be asked a few simple questions about your family history and any medicines you are currently taking. You will also be asked a few questions about your lifestyle.

Measurements will be taken for your height and weight, and your age, gender and ethnicity will be recorded.

Your blood pressure will also be taken along with a basic blood test to check your cholesterol level.

After the check you will have a discussion about the results and your risk of developing certain medical conditions.

You will be given any advice to help you live a healthy lifestyle, lower your risk and discuss if any further treatment or medication is needed.

Help after your NHS Health Check

There is plenty of help in Solihull to support you to a healthy lifestyle and to achieve any goals you want, whether that is to: