Operational update by Jamie Waterall, national lead - NHS Health Check & Blood Pressure programmes
Yesterday we published the offer and uptake results for April to June 2015 and cumulative data from April 2013 to June 2015. It is encouraging to see that the number of people receiving their check continues to increase and that over three million people have now received an NHS Health Check since local authorities became responsible for commissioning the programme.
Earlier this month, I provided an interview to the National Health Executive, which reflected on the current implementation of the NHS Health Check across England. This provided me with an opportunity to congratulate colleagues involved in this world-leading prevention programme. We continue to see improvements in coverage and the number of checks being delivered, with an additional 100,000 checks provided last year compared to 2013-14. We all accept that we need to continue to focus our efforts on increasing uptake, particularly towards those at greatest risk. In addition, further work is required to ensure the quality and consistency of the checks and the lifestyle and clinical interventions which should follow. However, colleagues involved in the programme should be proud of their achievements to date.
Last year we committed to supporting local implementation of the NHS Health Check by creating a behavioural insight network. This provides an opportunity for our behavioural scientists and local delivery teams to test out various approaches to increasing the uptake and the quality of the NHS Health Check. Given the tremendous learning from two of these studies, which have taken place in Medway and Southwark, we have decided to update the national invitation template letter. I would encourage you to review the results of these studies and for commissioners to consider implementing the learning from these studies to their local setting. Further information can be found on our NHS Health Check website.
Finally, we have announced the date of our next national conference, which will take place on 1 March 2016 in London. We have now called for poster/presentation abstracts, so I would encourage those directly involved in commissioning, delivery and research and evaluation to submit your entry by 2 October. We would also welcome your view on what you would like to get from this year’s event through our poll.