Intended for healthcare professionals


Changes to NHS health checks must be evidence based and beneficial, say GPs

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 16 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5201
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

A review of NHS health checks—which will look at tailoring checks based on risk and increasing the range of checks offered—must involve a “rigorous evaluation” to ensure they are safe, accurate, and of benefit to patients, GPs have warned.

The Department of Health and Social Care announced the review in the prevention green paper last month,1 and has now fleshed out its scope.

It says it will consider including additional checks to prevent musculoskeletal problems and hearing loss, as well as how the checks can be digitised and tailored so people are offered “personalised interventions” based on risk, location, predisposition to diseases, and their DNA.

While some experts welcomed the more targeted approach, others said the current scheme still needs to be evaluated for cost effectiveness and questioned how GPs will take on the extra work.

Health checks are currently offered to everyone aged …

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