NHS Health Check Dementia Pilot
PHE are working with the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK on a pilot project, to extend the mandatory dementia component of the NHS Health Check to all 40-64 year olds with the aim of reducing the number of people who develop dementia.
Dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing and there is evidence that it could be prevented if people modified unhealthy behaviour. The dementia awareness raising component of the NHS Health Check aims to increase understanding of dementia and risk reduction. It encourages people to consider healthy lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, being physically active, eating healthily, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol, connecting with people and keeping mentally active. The pilots will test the effectiveness of using the NHS Health Check to raise awareness of dementia risk reduction amongst people in midlife.
The pilot project was launched on 16th August to coincide with the DH Dementia Moment, and is running across 4 areas, Birmingham, Bury, Manchester City and Southampton City. GP surgeries and community models will be used to deliver the Health Checks.
There are two key outcomes:
- Assessing the feasibility of extending the dementia risk reduction component of the NHS Health Check to all ages
- Assessing whether, through the intervention there is increased awareness of dementia risk reduction among people aged 40-64
There will be minimal change to the NHS Health Check process itself. Dementia risk reduction will be included in discussions alongside cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Alzheimer’s Society has developed a training package focussing on risk reduction, and training sessions are being delivered to pilot site practitioners throughout September. The key message is “What is good for your heart is good for your brain”.
The pilots will be evaluated by an external market research company, Solutions Research, and the findings will be shared in Spring 2017 with the NHS Health Check Expert Scientific and Clinical Advisory Panel (ESCAP) to consider whether the pilot approach can be rolled out on a wider scale in the future.