NHS Health Checks

An NHS Health Check is a free check-up of your cardiovascular health. It can tell you whether you’re at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as heart diseasediabeteskidney disease or stroke.

This screening programme is targeted at 40-74 year olds as this is the best time to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease and heart disease. The check helps inform you about your potential risks to enable you to make positive changes to reduce your risks in the future. Everyone who is eligible may receive an invitation every five years, so when yours arrives make sure you don’t miss the opportunity.

Your NHS Health Check can detect potential health problems before they do real damage.

Watch our video below, where Dr Ben Oxley explains how you get invited for an NHS Health Check as well as what to expect when you come for an appointment at your GP surgery.

Find out where you can get an NHS Health Check

We have providers in Dorset who deliver NHS Health Checks.

It is a 5-year programme. Each year a number of residents will be invited to have an NHS Health Check. You will be either invited by text or letter.

If you are aged 40 to 74, have not had an NHS Health Check in the last 5 years and do not have a pre-existing condition such as heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease or had a stroke, you may be invited to have a health check.

No preparation for the check is needed. It takes no more than 30 minutes. You’ll be asked some simple questions about the health of your family (parents, brothers, sisters) and the lifestyle choices you make that may put your health at risk.

You’ll have your height and weight measured together with your blood pressure and a free cholesterol check. This will help to assess your risk of cardiovascular disease in the next ten years.

After your check you will be given personalised advice about how to reduce your risk and you may need further tests with your GP. You’ll be able to find out how simple lifestyle changes, such as diet and physical activity can lower your risk of developing serious health problems later in life.

Check if your local GP or pharmacy is an NHS Health Check provider

Research shows that even small changes to your lifestyle can have a surprising effect on your health.

What is a targeted NHS Health Check?

A targeted health check takes place in the community – for instance: at your workplace or in a local community centre. They are delivered by LiveWell Dorset, our free lifestyle change service.

You might be eligible to book one of these local community drop-in targeted health checks if you are: 

  • A smoker
  • Overweight
  • Have a high blood pressure
  • Living in an area of deprivation
  • Are of black ethnicity
Find out more about whether you are eligible and to book at an event near you.

Further help and advice

If you have recently had your health check, further advice and support is available through LiveWell Dorset. Our advisors are on hand to help you give up smoking, get more active, manage weight or drink less alcohol. Sign up to LiveWell Dorset online or call 01305 233105.