• 21Aug

    Government considers personalised health checks

    Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has announced an evidence-based review into the NHS Health Check service.

    The checks are currently offered to everyone aged between 40 and 74 to spot the early signs of major conditions that cause early death, including stroke, kidney disease, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

    However, the checks pay little attention to people’s individual risks or needs.

    The review will explore how to improve the system, with a focus on offering personalised interventions based on factors such as age, where people live and DNA.

    The review will also explore a special check-up for people approaching retirement age to help prevent or delay future care needs, increasing the range of advice the checks can offer, ways to increase the uptake of health checks and the digitisation of health checks where appropriate.

    An intelligent check might target drinking advice at 40 to 49 year olds while 70 to 74 year olds could be targeted with advice on how to reduce their blood pressure.

    Those at low risk of cardiovascular disease may benefit from less frequent, online check-ups. However, it is recognised that people with mental health problems, who in general find it hard to access standard care and are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, would be unlikely to use digital services.