NHS Health Checks

Patients registered in Sheffield aged 40-74 without qualifying underlying health conditions, who have not had a health check in the past 5 years, are eligible for a free NHS  health check.

Available from GP practices across Sheffield


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What are NHS Health Checks?

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 discuss how to reduce your risk of these conditions.

If you’re aged over 65, you’ll also be told about symptoms of dementia to look out for.

How to get an NHS Health Check

You will be contacted by your local GP and invited to come for an NHS Health Check.

These checks are being targeted to those who are more likely to have underlying, undiagnosed, conditions and so if you do not fit into this group then you may not be invited. If you are not invited but would like to get an NHS Health Check then please speak to your GP practices or speak to any of the services below who can refer you.

These services can also provideadvice and support on risk management.


What happens at an NHS Health Check?

Your NHS Health Check will be done by a healthcare professional. This will usually be a nurse, but it could also be a doctor, pharmacist or healthcare assistant.

The check takes about 20 to 30 minutes and usually includes:

  • measuring your height and weight
  • measuring your waist
  • blood pressure test
  • cholesterol test, and possibly a blood sugar level test, which is usually a finger-prick blood test. You may be asked to have a blood test at or before the NHS Health Check

You’ll also be asked some questions about your health including:

  • whether any of your close relatives have had any medical conditions
  • if you smoke, and how much
  • if you drink alcohol, and how much
  • how much physical activity you do

Your age, gender and ethnicity will also be recorded.

Your NHS Health Check results

You’ll usually be told your NHS Health Check results during the appointment.

You’ll be given your cardiovascular risk score of developing a heart or circulation problem, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes or kidney disease, over the next 10 years.

The healthcare professional may describe this risk score as low, moderate or high.

Everybody’s cardiovascular 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 are the same.

There are some things about your risk which you cannot change, such as your age, ethnicity and family history. But the most important factors in your risk score (such as smoking, your cholesterol level and blood pressure) can be changed.

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

At the end of your NHS Health Check, you’ll have the chance to discuss your results and how to improve your scores, including where you can get support.

This could include talking about how to:

  • improve your diet
  • increase the amount of exercise you do
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking
  • reduce the amount of salt in your diet
  • reduce your alcohol intake
  • reduce your cholesterol

You may also be referred to local services, such as stop smoking and physical activity services, to help you make any changes.

How will the NHS Health Check help?

The NHS Health Check aims to lower your risk of getting conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Many of the warning signs for these conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, do not have symptoms.

The NHS Health Check helps you find out if you are at risk of getting these conditions so you can take action to improve your health. This could include making lifestyle changes or taking medicines.

The risk factors assessed during the health check are often shared by other conditions, including type 2 diabetes, preventable cancers and respiratory illness. An NHS Health Check could help you to reduce your chance of getting these conditions too.

Dementia and heart disease also share common risk factors.

How can I reduce my risk factors?

Resources for practices

Practices can download template materials below to help contact people for the NHS Health Checks.

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