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The NHS Health Check programme: implementation in east London 2009–2011
  1. John Robson1,
  2. Isabel Dostal1,
  3. Vichithranie Madurasinghe1,
  4. Aziz Sheikh2,
  5. Sally Hull1,
  6. Kambiz Boomla1,
  7. Helen Page3,
  8. Chris Griffiths1,
  9. Sandra Eldridge1
  1. 1Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  2. 2Centre for Population Health Sciences, the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3London Borough of Newham, Newham Dockside, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr John Robson; j.robson{at}


Objectives To describe implementation and results from the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check programme.

Design Three-year observational open cohort study: 2009–2011.

Participants People of age 40–74 years eligible for an NHS Health Check.

Setting 139/143 general practices in three east London primary care trusts (PCTs) serving an ethnically diverse and socially disadvantaged population.

Method Implementation was supported with education, IT support and performance reports. Tower Hamlets PCT additionally used managed practice networks and prior-stratification to call people at higher cardiovascular (CVD) risk first.

Main outcomes measures Attendance, proportion of high-risk population on statins and comorbidities identified.

Results Coverage 2009, 2010, 2011 was 33.9% (31 878/10 805), 60.6% (30 757/18 652) and 73.4% (21 194/28 890), respectively. Older people were more likely to attend than younger people. Attendance was similar across deprivation quintiles and was in accordance with population distributions of black African/Caribbean, South Asian and White ethnic groups. 1 in 10 attendees were at high-CVD risk (20% or more 10-year risk). In the two PCTs stratifying risk, 14.3% and 9.4% of attendees were at high-CVD risk compared to 8.6% in the PCT using an unselected invitation strategy. Statin prescription to people at high-CVD risk was higher in Tower Hamlets 48.9%, than in City and Hackney 23.1% or Newham 20.2%. In the 6 months following an NHS Health Check, 1349 new cases of hypertension, 638 new cases of diabetes and 89 new cases of chronic kidney disease (CKD) were diagnosed. This represents 1 new case of hypertension per 38 Checks, 1 new case of diabetes per 80 Checks and 1 new case of CKD per 568 Checks.

Conclusions Implementation of the NHS Health Check programme in these localities demonstrates limited success. Coverage and treatment of those at high-CVD risk could be improved. Targeting invitations to people at high-CVD risk and managed practice networks in Tower Hamlets improved performance.


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