Operational update by Jamie Waterall, National lead - NHS Health Check and blood pressure programmes
This month, Imperial College London published its latest national evaluation paper on the NHS Health Check programme in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This was followed by media coverage suggesting that the programme is only providing modest patient benefits. Given the importance of this study, our expert scientific and clinical advisory panel has reviewed the paper and developed a response which allows us to consider the implications of this important work. I believe we should be encouraged by certain findings, such as the 2.5mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure in the NHS Health Check group, while also using this data to bolster our focus on increasing uptake and quality of the lifestyle and clinical interventions that follow the NHS Health Check. Many local teams are now using our new NHS Health Check systematic approach to raising standards StARS framework and programme standards to drive a focus on quality and outcomes locally.
I am delighted to be able to share with you a recent PHE video that captures the views of key national and local colleagues. The clip includes comments from Duncan Selbie, PHE’s CEO, explaining why he believes the NHS Health Check is so important in England’s response to ‘getting serious about prevention’.
I want to thank everyone who has been involved in our commissioned research, which will support an update to the NHS Health Check stocktake, originally published in July 2014. We will use this stakeholder feedback to reflect on what we are doing well and the things that you would like us to focus on more over the coming year. We aim to publish the stocktake findings and our action plan in the summer.
Finally, I want to congratulate Dr Matt Kearney, our GP advisor, who has recently been appointed as national clinical director for cardiovascular disease prevention. It is tremendous that NHS England has recognise the importance of this field by creating this new role and I know that Matt will bring a huge amount to this position.