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NHS Health Checks To Be Reviewed Says Health Secretary

MattHancockThe Department of Health and Social (DHSC) care has announced a radical change to NHS health checks, as it launches a review to explore how analytics and data-driven technologies can deliver personalised health advice to patients.

The “new look” NHS health checks intend to make prevention and treatment much more effective by looking at whether tailored programmes that take age, genetics and socioeconomic factors into account can more effectively prevent disease.

Over the last five years, these NHS-delivered checks have identified over 700,000 people at high risk of cardiovascular disease. They also save an estimated 500 lives each year.

The review will explore new intelligent, predictive NHS Health Checks, which take age, risk factors and preferences into account, with the aim of developing programmes that can be tailored to individual circumstances.

‘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 Mr Hancock.

‘The review we are announcing today will be an important step towards achieving that, helping us to find data-led, evidenced based ways to support people to spot, manage and prevent risks to their health through targeted intervention.’

Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, described the announcement as ‘a great opportunity’ to improve Health Checks.

The chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, also welcomed the launch of the review, although he warned that Government cuts were undermining preventative health measures.

‘We are pleased this review proposes a move to more tailored health checks,’ he said.

‘However, councils have seen cuts of £700m to their public health funding over the last five years which has impacted on their ability to continue the good work they have been doing.

‘This is why we want the Government to reverse these cuts in the upcoming Spending Round and invest in prevention to not only improve the health and quality of life of people but also reduce the burden on council services and the NHS.’?

Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, said:

“Health checks can save lives and prevent people from developing life-threatening conditions. Councils have done a tremendous job in inviting more than 14 million eligible people to have a check over the last five years, of which 6.8 million have taken up the offer. By engaging people in early conversations about their health, councils have helped people improve their health and reduce the risk of developing serious but preventable conditions. We are keen to do more to improve uptake, especially amongst the most high risk groups.

“We are pleased this review proposes a move to more tailored health checks. However councils have seen cuts of £700 million to their public health funding over the last five years which has impacted on their ability to continue the good work they have been doing.

“This is why we want the Government to reverse these cuts in the upcoming Spending Round and invest in prevention to not only improve the health and quality of life of people but also reduce the burden on council services and the NHS.”

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