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Patients are more likely to attend an NHS Health Check if they’re already at lower risk of stroke or heart attack, a SPCR funded University of Bristol evaluation has found. The patient groups most likely to respond to the standard invitation to attend a check are female, ‘white British’, older or from more affluent areas.

Our findings highlight the importance of targeted approaches for the patient groups most likely to benefit from NHS Health Checks. Improving uptake in these key groups would really increase the impact of the programme in reducing health inequalities.”
- Dr Jeremy Horwood, researcher at Centre for Academic Primary Care

In a School funded study, researchers from NIHR CLAHRC West and the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) looked at routinely collected data from GP practices in Bristol between 2010 and 2014, assessing which patients followed up their invitation to attend an NHS Health Check. Over the data collection period, 31,881 invitations for an NHS Health Check were offered to eligible individuals and 13,733 checks were completed.

Slightly more women compared to men attended (53 per cent versus 47 per cent), and, from the target 40–74 age range, more patients aged over 60. People from the most deprived communities were less likely to attend than those from more affluent areas (39 per cent versus 47 per cent).

The proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people attending NHS Health Checks was lower than in Bristol’s overall population. BAME groups make up 16 per cent of the population of Bristol. But more non-black and Asian patients were invited (64 per cent versus 9 per cent) and most attendees were also from non-black and Asian groups (85 per cent versus 10 per cent). However, ethnicity was poorly recorded by GP practices, particularly for those patients who didn’t attend an NHS Health Check. Full news story.