NHS health checks

The NHS health check is a free assessment funded by Harrow Council. It's for people aged 40 to 74 who do not have an existing cardiovascular disease. The purpose of the health check is to prevent developing chronic conditions like:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • dementia.

The health check is an opportunity to prevent future health problems and to get advice on how to make healthy changes now. It consists of a health questionnaire and three or four basic health tests.

How to book an appointment

If you are eligible, and are registered with a participating Harrow GP practice, you will automatically be invited once every five years. Once you get your invitation, follow the instructions to book your appointment. Alternatively, you can request to have your NHS health check by contacting your GP surgery.

If you are concerned about your health and your GP is not participating in the programme you can contact them in the usual way to request an appointment.

You can find GPs near you using the NHS service search

What happens at a health check?

The health test will be carried out by a trained practitioner. You will be asked questions about your health such as your age, family history, ethnicity, drinking, smoking and physical activity. Additionally, four basic health tests will be taken:

  • Cholesterol test to find out if your cholesterol is high. High cholesterol is unhealthy and can lead to a stroke or heart disease.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) test to determine if you are a healthy weight. If you are overweight it can increase your risk for certain conditions.
  • Blood pressure will be tested by placing a cuff around your arm. If you have high blood pressure you will be at risk of diabetes and stroke.
  • Diabetes risk assessment taking into account your BMI, blood pressure and your health questionnaire. You may be asked to do further tests if you are found to be at risk.

Before you attend for the NHS Health Check it is helpful if you complete the NHS One You quiz.

Receiving your results

Results are usually received straight away although sometimes you may be asked to come back at another time to collect them. Your results will be discussed with you and you will be given an overall risk assessment score, which may indicate if you are at risk for certain conditions. The healthcare professional will give you health advice based on your test to help you maintain or improve your health. They may also recommend eating a healthier diet or increasing your physically activity. If you are at high risk you may be referred for treatment with your GP.

More information can be found on the NHS health check website.