About the health check
If you're 40 to 64 years old and your GP practice is part of the Keep Well programme, you may be eligible for a Keep Well health check. If you’re eligible you will be contacted by your GP surgery to invite you along for a health check.
Alternatively, if your GP practice is listed in the Where to get a health check section, you can contact them to find out if you are eligible and make an appointment.
- At the Keep Well health check, your health professional will run a few quick checks to see whether you're at risk of unseen conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. They will provide you with some practical advice on how you can reduce your risk of developing any of these conditions. Find out more about what will happen at your Keep Well health check.
- During your Keep Well health check you will also be asked about your lifestyle and social circumstances to ensure a complete picture of your health is obtained.
- After your Keep Well health check you will receive support to choose aspects of your lifestyle that you can change to improve your health generally. The lifestyle adviser can put you in touch with services like healthy eating advice, physical activity classes, stop smoking groups and even advice on money and benefits.
How will I benefit from the health check?
The Keep Well health check is your chance to make a positive difference to your health. As well as cutting your possible risk of future disease, the advice could help you feel better now.
Find out your risk of developing cardiovascular disease
Your Keep Well health check can help you find out your possible risk of developing cardiovascular disease (such as heart disease or stroke) over the next ten years. If your risk is high, the lifestyle adviser can help you identify steps to reduce it - for example providing help and practical advice if you’re interested in:
- stopping smoking
- losing weight
- eating a balanced diet
- suitable exercise for your age and health
- reducing your alcohol intake.
Other health worries
The health check is also a chance for you to talk about your own health worries.
If there is a problem, you may be referred to your GP or provided with advice to help you do something about it. If you go for your Keep Well health check and there isn’t a problem, they can put your mind at rest.
What will happen?
Health checks are carried out by a lifestyle adviser; and in some cases you may see a GP after the check.
There are four main stages of your Keep Well health check. All aspects of the health check are optional - and if at any point you feel uncomfortable or are unsure of a certain procedure, let the practitioner know.
1. At the beginning of the check, the lifestyle adviser will explain in full what is going to happen.
2. He or She will ask a few questions about your lifestyle - for example:
- how active you are
- what your diet is like
- whether you smoke
- your alcohol intake
- any other life stresses.
3. After this the lifestyle adviser will then ask you some general questions about your health, and then offer to check your:
- blood pressure
- good and bad cholesterol
- blood sugar.
4. At the end of the check, the lifestyle adviser will discuss your results, and any support or treatments that you may wish to consider.
Ask questions and get support
- The Keep Well health check is about building a partnership between the lifestyle adviser and you.
- You can ask questions at any stage and there is support available to help you get your Keep Well health check.
What do I need to do?
If you are aged 40-64 you may be eligible for a Keep Well health check. If your local GP practice is offering health checks, your practice may invite you by letter, by telephone, or when you're at the surgery for something else.
Alternatively, if your GP practice is listed in Where to get a health check, you can contact them direct to find out if you are eligible or to make your health check appointment.
Once you have an appointment, you don't need to do anything to prepare for your health check.
What support is available to help me get to my health check?
There is a range of support available. For example, interpreter services may be available if English is not your first language, and there may be support if you are deaf or hard of hearing.
If you would like to attend a health check but think you need additional support, contact your GP practice to find out what support is available to you.
More Questions (FAQs)
Should I be worried about being invited to a health check?
No. All eligible patients aged 40-64 at participating surgeries are being invited, so receiving an invitation does not mean there is something wrong with you. Instead, the Keep Well health check is a chance to make a positive difference to your health.
Can I ask about other things that are worrying me?
Yes. Your Keep Well health check is a chance to ask questions.
Is the Keep Well health check free?
Yes. All you need to give is your time.
How long will the check take?
About 30-45 minutes.
What questions will I be asked?
The aim of the health check is find out the risk of you developing conditions like cardiovascular disease (for example, heart disease and stroke). So, some of the questions will be medical – such as your family history and what medication you are taking. Others will be more about your lifestyle – such as how often you exercise, how much alcohol you drink and whether you smoke.
There will also be some questions about other areas linked to health, such as your workplace and whether you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
Who will do the health check?
At most surgeries, a lifestyle adviser carries out the health check, but at some surgeries it may be a different healthcare practitioner. Either way, there will be the same checks, and the same type of questions.
Can I bring a member of the family or a friend with me?
Yes, you can bring someone else with you to the health check.
Can I ask for a male or female nurse to carry out the health check?
Yes you can, but please remember that some practices only have a small number of staff, so this may not always be possible.
After your health check
What will happen after the health check?
The next steps will depend on at the results of your health check. If the lifestyle adviser finds your potential risk of conditions like heart disease is low, you may not need any follow-up advice or action, but support will be available if you want it.
If your risk is higher, you will receive advice and support to make changes to your lifestyle, and possibly referral to your GP
How can I find out if my GP practice offers Keep Well health checks?
Check Where to Get a Keep Well Health Check to find out which areas and GP practices are taking part in the programme. If your practice appears in the list, you can call them to see if you are eligible.
What can I do if I want a Keep Well health check but my practice isn't listed on this website?
If your GP practice is not taking part in Keep Well, there may still be health checks available to you locally through our lifestyle adviser support service (external link). Please call your practice to find out what is available to you.
What happens if I cannot attend or if I miss my appointment?
This is not a problem. Just call your GP practice and speak to one of the staff there. They will be able to make a new appointment for you.
Can I use the results of the health check instead of having a work medical?
That is up to your employer and you would need to discuss that with them.