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Rethink universal approach to NHS Health Checks, urges Public Health England adviser

Professor Nick Wareham

 A leading Public Health England advisor has called for a major rethink of the universal NHS Health Checks programme - claiming that a more targeted approach may be more cost-effective.

Professor Nick Wareham - director of the MRC epidemiology unit - told Pulse the current programme – which involves inviting everyone aged 40–75 for screening of cardiovascular and other risk factors – may not the best use of resources.

Instead, he urged public health leaders to target those at high-risk individuals as the evidence suggested this was likely be cost-effective.

Public Health England recently announced a commitment to rolling the scheme out further and finding ways to improve its implementation.

But the programme has been beset by problems – most recently evaluations showing uptake and coverage is falling well behind projected rates– and another casting doubt on the suitability of the screen for picking up diabetes.

For the full exclusive Pulse story click here.