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Why digital health checks are being introduced by the NHS

Here, we continue our coverage on the government’s plans to introduce digital health checks from next spring

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More than one million individuals had a face-to-face NHS Health Check last year, which is double that of the previous year, according to new data published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. (OHID)

The NHS Health Check helps to prevent strokes and heart attacks and is currently solely a face-to-face service until the digital checks are introduced next year.

The check helps to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or dementia for adults in England aged between 40 to 74.

This new data published by OHID shows that face-to-face health checks have recovered to pre-pandemic levels thanks to the efforts of local authorities and NHS staff, helping to prevent any potential deadly cardiovascular disease across the country.

OHID’s data for 2022/23 shows:

  • 2.9 million people were offered a check by local authorities – up from 1.3 million in 2021/22
  • 1.1 million checks were delivered in 2022/23 – up from 500,000 in 2021/22
  • 10.2 million checks offered and 4.3 million carried out between April 2018 and March 2023, despite disruption caused by the pandemic

On this data and the introduction of the digital health checks, Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay, says: “Hundreds of thousands of people have taken action to understand their health and prevent potentially life-threatening conditions like heart attacks and strokes.

“These mid-life MOTs are vitally important in preventing illnesses, easing pressure on the NHS and cutting waiting times – one of the government’s five priorities – and I want to encourage anyone who’s offered a check to come forward and take advantage of the offer.

“On the eve of the NHS’s 75th birthday, it’s fantastic to see so many people had a health check last year – and even more will be achieved when the new digital check is rolled out from spring.”

More on OHID’s data on face-to-face health check, here.

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