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Digital NHS Health Check will launch next spring

Digital NHS Health Check will launch next spring

The new digital version of the NHS Health Check will launch next spring, the Government has announced.

It said this would help prevent more strokes and heart attacks as well as ease pressure on GP practices. 

The digital version of the check, which includes an online questionnaire, will sit alongside the current in-person checks which take place largely at GP practices.

In its first four years, this scheme will deliver an additional one million checks, prevent around 400 heart attacks and strokes, and could save 20 minutes of NHS time per digital check, according to NHS England.

This policy was first announced in March as part of the Spring Budget and it follows a pilot launched in Cornwall at the end of last year.

Results from the digital check can be accessed online and will signpost patients to advice on how to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

NHS England has said that demand on GP practices will be reduced as patients will only be referred to their GP if further tests and treatments are needed. 

The current face-to-face checks, delivered to adults in England aged 40 to 74 at a rate of 1.3 million a year, identify 315,000 people living with obesity and 33,000 cases of hypertension. 

They can help spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia. 

The new digital version will be accessed via a mobile phone, tablet or computer, and will require patients to enter their height, weight, blood pressure measurements and a blood test result. 

In the pilots, blood pressure was taken at the pharmacy or in the GP waiting room.

According to NHS England it will help to identify 200,000 people who could benefit from the use of statins as well as 30,000 cases of hypertension.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said it will mean people ‘can do simple tests and get tailored advice from home while reducing pressure on GP services’.

He added: ‘This programme is the latest example of how we are using technology to cut waiting times, one of the government’s five priorities, improve diagnosis and treatment.’

In April, estimates from a pharmacy trade association showed that the NHS Community Pharmacy Blood Pressure Check Service, which launched in 2021, had prevented 600 future heart attacks and strokes in the first year of a new blood pressure service. 


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Thomas Kelly 29 June, 2023 7:36 am

I’m sure most of the online advice will be ‘please see your GP’

Nicholas Sharvill 29 June, 2023 7:59 am

it will be good if those who are unaware they are overweight are advised of this and those with very high cholesterols or high blood pressure have help in discussing ways to reduce their risks to say this will reduce GP time is plainly total nonsense. It will take time but in the long run makes good sense . Shame that the message does not say that.

Turn out The Lights 29 June, 2023 12:28 pm

They keep going for a champagne service on lemonade funding.Do they ever learn.How many many of us are happy with the service after going through a chat bot or a telephone pick list there is a delay of hours to speak to a person.Will be the same here this froth is no a substitute for a clinician,and the punters will be really happy if after wasting their time and money doing this they have a long wait to speak with an experience trained REAL person.While they are wasting time on money on this the workforce is slowly or not so slowly bleeding out.I do wonder who is bunging the money to push this stuff although I expect they come from the other side of the Atlantic.& months till I’m stagng my own industrial action and going very part time.Cant wait.

Mark Sanford-Wood 29 June, 2023 3:21 pm

Anyone who proclaims that a coordinated campaign of illness prevention has a NEGATIVE cost is either a fool or deliberately dissembling. The statistical benefits of this scheme will accrue in 10-20 years while the deluge of extra chronic disease management will hit GPs now. The only realistic conclusion is that they WANT general practice to break. Presumably so that it can be replaced with Amanda Doyle’s superclinics staffed by salaried servants.

James Weems 30 June, 2023 8:25 pm

Sounds like a good way of creating a tsunami of extra workload for GPs in double quick time.