How do I get an NHS Health Check?

You can have an NHS Health Check if you're aged 40 to 74 and you haven't had a stroke, or don't already have heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease.

If this applies to you, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you for an NHS Health Check every five years.

You may also receive reminders about your NHS Health Check appointment by phone or email.

Mobile health check unit
Credit:

Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo

Will I get my NHS Health Check from my GP?

Because the NHS Health Check programme is run by local authorities, how you get your check varies, depending on where you live.

The NHS Health Check is usually carried out in GP surgeries and local pharmacies, but they may also be offered at other suitable and accessible places in your neighbourhood.

For example, in some areas NHS Health Checks are offered to passers-by at mobile units, while in other places they've been offered at leisure centres.

To find out how you can get an NHS Health Check where you live, look up the NHS Health Check programme in your area or contact your local authority directly.

Why aren't people under the age of 40 or over the age of 74 eligible?

People under the age of 40 aren't included in the NHS Health Check programme because younger people have a lower risk of the health conditions tested for during the check.

If you're 75 and over, you can ask for a check-up from your GP if you haven't had one in the last year.

Is there anything I can do to get an NHS Health Check other than wait to be invited?

You could ask your GP whether they offer the NHS Health Check and, if so, whether they can let you know when you're due to be invited.

If your GP doesn't offer the NHS Health Check, you could look up the NHS Health Check programme in your area, or contact your local authority directly to find out how to get one.

Ask your pharmacist

Some pharmacies offer NHS Health Checks, but this may depend on where you live. It's worth asking your local pharmacist if they can help.

They'll also be able to take your blood pressure and sell you a home-testing kit for cholesterol, although these are often considered to be less accurate than cholesterol tests carried out by a healthcare professional.

Private health checks

If you're eligible, the NHS Health Check is free of charge, including any follow-up tests and appointments. Private health providers will offer the tests available on the NHS Health Check, but often at a cost.

Wellness kiosks

Many pharmacies and gyms have "wellness kiosks", which are machines where you can check your weight and blood pressure, and answer questions about your family history and lifestyle. Your results will give you an indication of how healthy you are for your age.

Online tests and tools

There are many online interactive tools and self-assessments that can help you immediately get an idea of how healthy you are.

  • If you're over 30, take the online Heart Age test to see what your risk of getting heart disease or stroke is.
  • Find out if you're at risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Use the BMI calculator to see whether you're a healthy weight for your height. If you're overweight, it will also tell you what your daily calorie range should be to help you lose weight.
  • Could you be drinking too much? Monitor your alcohol intake with this mobile drinks tracker
  • Take the How Are You quiz created by Public Health England for an overview of your current health and wellbeing.

If you feel unwell now

If you're worried about your health, don't wait for your NHS Health Check. Contact your GP, or call NHS 111 for advice.

Page last reviewed: 01/11/2016
Next review due: 01/11/2019