What is an NHS Health Check?

The NHS Health Check is for adults in England aged 40 to 74 and is your chance to get a free midlife MOT. It's designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk.


The NHS Health Check involves straightforward questions and measurements such as age, sex, family history, height, weight and blood pressure. Prior to the appointment, there will also be a simple blood test to measure your cholesterol level. Following the check, you will receive free personalised advice about what you can do to stay healthy.

If you are at higher risk, your healthcare professional might want to discuss whether you should be taking medicines to control your blood pressure or cholesterol, along with help to take action such as losing weight, becoming more active or stopping smoking.


Am I eligible for an NHS Health Check?

The check is for people who are aged 40 to 74 who do not have any of the following pre-existing conditions:

  • heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • transient ischaemic attack
  • inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • stroke
  • currently being prescribed statins to lower cholesterol
  • previous checks have found that you have a 20% or higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years

You should have regular check-ups if you have one of these conditions.


How do I arrange an NHS Health Check?

As long as you don't have an existing vascular condition and you are between 40 and 74 years old, you will be invited for a free NHS Health Check every five years.

You'll usually get your NHS Health Check at a GP practice. However, NHS Health Checks are also available at other locations, such as your local Chemist / Pharmacy.


By having a routine NHS Health Check for these conditions every five years, you can take action early and greatly improve your chance of a longer, healthier and happier life. You may be surprised how some small, long-lasting changes to your lifestyle can make a huge difference.


For more information on this service, please see the NHS Health Check page.