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NHS Teen LifeCheck Media Briefing 

The NHS Teen LifeCheck is an online assessment service for young people aged 12-15. The topics covered by an NHS Teen LifeCheck are divided into two sections: Your lifestyle and Your feelings. There are 14 questions on:

  • Being Active
  • Drugs and Solvents
  • Smoking
  • Bullying
  • Feelings about School
  • Somone to talk to
  • Feeling safe
  • Healthy eating
  • Alcohol
  • Safe Sex
  • Feelings about yourself
  • Being Healthy
  • Home life
  • Crime

NHS Teen LifeCheck was launched nationally on 10th June 2009 following rigorous research and testing.

Target Audience

NHS Teen LifeCheck is for young people aged 12 to 15. It’s aim is to help reduce health inequalities and as such is specifically designed to meet the needs of more socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and where possible, all marketing activity is aimed at these groups.

It has also been designed to support education,health and social care professionals in their work as well as be a useful tool for other frontline workers such as teachers and youth group workers.

Key messages and facts

  • www.teenlifecheck is a free, easy to use and confidential interactive questionnaire that offers lifestyle information to 12 - 15 year olds
  • www.teenlifecheck.co.uk guides young people through a set of simple multiple choice questions and then gives them tailored advice on how they can take small steps to improve their lifestyles by setting goals and signposting to national and local services for further support. It covers subjects that concern most young people from diet and exercise through to sex, drugs, friendships, bullying and safety
  • NHS Teen LifeCheck covers a range of issues including physical activity; nutrition; solvents and illegal drugs, sexual health, alcohol and smoking. Additionally, www.teenlifecheck.co.uk focuses on young people’s emotional wellbeing – with advice and top tips about stress, bullying, relationships, personal safety and self-esteem
  • www.teenlifecheck.co.uk is completely private. There are no right or wrong answers and it won’t judge you, but it will point you in the direction of good information and tell you where you can go to get more advice and support.
  • www.teenlifecheck.co.uk has been developed in consultation with a wide range of health professionals and research experts, as well as being tested by young people themselves
  • NHS Teen LifeCheck is designed to empower young people them to make healthy choices
  • NHS Teen Life Check is one of the initiatives that supports the Children and Young People's public health programme which came from ‘Healthy lives, brighter futures: A strategy for children and young people's health’ (published in February 2009). This joint Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families strategy outlines the Government's vision for improving health and well-being outcomes for all children and young people and supporting a reduction in health inequalities
  • NHS Teen LifeCheck provides a means of ‘reaching out’ to young people who might not otherwise engage with local services, thereby helping to address health inequalities
  • To date over 100,000 teens have completed the NHS Teen LifeCheck questionnaire.

NHS Teen LifeCheck Media FAQs

Q: What is NHS Teen LifeCheck?
NHS Teen LifeCheck is a quick, easy and interactive online quiz designed for young people aged 12–15 that explores a range of health and wellbeing issues in one accessible place

The service empowers young people to take greater control of their health by:

  • raising their awareness of risk taking behaviour
  • signposting to further sources of support and advice
  • supporting behaviour change and
  • helping them to set ‘SMART’ health improvement goals.

Q: How is it accessed?
NHS Teen LifeCheck can be accessed online at www.lifecheck.co.uk. It is easy to use, private and confidential

Q: How much does it cost?
NHS Teen LifeCheck is free.

Q: What kind of things does it cover?
The NHS Teen LifeCheck covers a range of health and well-being issues including:

  • physical activity
  • nutrition
  • solvents and illegal drugs
  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • sexual health
  • a range of emotional health issues, for example: bullying, self-worth and communication
  • feelings about school
  • family dysfunction
  • safety in the neighbourhood
  • being a victim of crime.

Q: Where did NHS Teen LifeCheck come from?
In the public consultation “Your Health, Your Care, Your Say” people clearly expressed an interest in taking more responsibility for their health and wellbeing. Three quarters of participants identified regular health checks as a top priority to help them do this.

In response, the 2006 Government White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ announced the development of three initial NHS LifeChecks:

  • one for young people aged 12-15
  • one for parents and carers with babies five-eight months old and
  • one for the 45-60 years age group.

Q: Who was involved in its development?
NHS Teen LifeCheck has been developed in consultation with a wide range of health professionals and research experts, as well as being tested by young people themselves. It is non-judgmental, totally confidential and no identifying data is kept.

Q: How does NHS Teen LifeCheck work?
NHS Teen LifeCheck follows a four stage process:

  • Complete a lifestyle questionnaire – answering simple tick-box questions on topics such as smoking, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional well-being.
  • Get feedback and results – analysing this information, the online service then gives immediate feedback, identifying what the user is doing well and which areas could be improved.
  • Motivation and planning for change – NHS LifeCheck suggests ideas that may help to motivate a change in lifestyle choices.
  • More information and support - It also gives links to further sources of information and support.

Q: How will NHS Teen LifeCheck address health inequalities?
The NHs LifeCheck team at the Department of Health have been working closely with the Communities for Health spearhead areas, 83 of the most socially disadvantaged local authorities in England, to help embed NHS LifeCheck into the work of schools, health and social care professionals in their strategies for tackling health inequalities

In these areas it is intended that NHS LifeCheck can be used to encourage teenagers at highest risk of future ill health (caused by lifestyle choices) to do an NHS LifeCheck and act on the results, and in this way help reduce health inequalities.

Q: Why is NHS Teen LifeCheck aimed at 12-15 year olds?
It is recognised that early secondary years can be a challenging time for young people and evidence points to the fact that behavourial patterns developed during adolescene can have a major impact on people’s health in later life. Young people from a diverse range of backgrounds have been involved at every stage of the NHS Teen LifeCheck development. Following pilot findings and discussion with key stakeholders it was decided to target the NHS Teen LifeCheck at 12-15 year olds.

Q: How many people have visited www.teenlifecheck.co.uk?
More than 110,000 teenagers have logged onto www.teenlifecheck.co.uk since it was launched three months ago.


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