A new evidence-based review of the the NHS health checks will explore if personalised interventions based on people’s age, where they live and their DNA will be beneficial for the population.
Currently these checks are offered to everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 to spot early signs of major conditions such as stroke, kidney and heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the changes were part of a wider move away from blanket approaches to public health, to an approach that takes personal choices into account.
The new review takes personal choices into account and would explore:
- a special check-up for people approaching retirement age to help prevent or delay future care needs
- increasing the range of advice the checks can offer – for example, prevention of musculoskeletal problems or early action on hearing loss
- ways to increase the uptake of health checks
- the digitisation of health checks where appropriate
“Personalised, preventative healthcare is mission critical to the future-fit healthcare service we want to build. We must harness the latest technology and techniques to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach of the past,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“The review we are announcing today will be an important step towards achieving that, helping us to find data-led, evidence-based ways to support people to spot, manage and prevent risks to their health through targeted intervention.”
The DHSC said the health checks, which have annually saved around 500 lives in the last five years, had the potential to deliver more benefits with a more tailored approach.
Pharmacy Minister Jo Churchill said: “Through the power of cutting-edge technology, we will end the one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare and tailor NHS services to individual patients to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives,” .
“Our aim is to build a truly preventative, personalised and predictive health and care service through our NHS Long Term Plan to improve the health of the nation for years to come.”