The NHS is going to send everyone aged 40 and over in England a new simple health test to complete at home to prevent ‘thousands of heart attacks and strokes. Everyone will also be asked to complete a questionnaire, including details of how much alcohol you drink and how much exercise you do.
The Digital NHS health checks will be launched next spring for people aged 40 to 74. The home blood test will check cholesterol levels with patients asked to take a blood pressure test at a pharmacy, alongside the online assessment covering details such as weight, height, diet, alcohol intake and exercise levels.
Results will be made available online with help available to anyone showing early signs of issues such as diabetes or heart disease, as well as referrals to weight-loss clinics or medication. The online questionnaire will be available via phone, tablet or computer and the Government believes each check will save 20 minutes of NHS time. Cardiovascular disease is the second biggest killer in England, affecting around 6.4 million people.
Around 15 million people will be eligible, with around one million online checks expected to be carried out over the next four years. Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Thousands of heart attacks and strokes could be prevented every year through simple health checks, which could save lives and ease pressure on the NHS.
“This new digital check-up will mean people can do simple tests and get tailored advice from homes while reducing pressure on GP services.”
The Government says the new digital check will help to identify 200,000 people who could benefit from the use of statins, 30,000 cases of hypertension and prevent around 400 heart attacks and strokes over the first four years. Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This initiative will help to reach more people and encourage them to get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked so that, where necessary, healthcare professionals can work with them to manage their condition.