NHS Health Checks

Suffolk NHS Health Checks Program

The NHS Health Check is a national programme for people aged 40 – 74 years that assesses a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. It then provides the person with tailored support to help prevent the condition, advising on lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. Nationally, there are over 15 million people in this age group who should be offered an NHS Health Check once every 5 years, and local authorities are responsible for commissioning NHS Health Checks.

Due to the encouraging results obtained from the Suffolk County Council Pharmacy Health Check pilot during 2016/17, the service was reviewed by the commissioner and is now a full service open to 30 selected pharmacies in certain geographical areas where current provision is low.

Service Specification and Contract Details

Important Update From Public Health Suffolk

December 1st 2019

Public Health Commissioned NHS Health Checks
In the first six months of 2019/20 delivery of NHS Health Checks in some pharmacies has increased significantly compared with previous years. This is a great success and whilst not wanting to detract from this achievement the increased activity has had a significant impact on the Public Health budget. The funding allocation to pharmacy NHS Health Check activity has already been exceeded by more than double. It has therefore become financially unviable for activity to continue at this rate, and I am in the unfortunate position of having to contact you to advise of immediate changes from 1st December 2019. Public Health has met with the Suffolk Local Pharmacy Committee to advise of our position:

•Each pharmacy can continue to complete the first 25 NHS Health Checks to recoup the initial set up and training costs indicated in the service specification
•After the first 25 Health Checks have been completed pharmacies must only deliver additional Health Checks to clients who present with an invite letter and must confirm this by ticking the relevant field on PharmOutcomes
•Any offer for opportunistic Health Checks should cease immediately, together with any current or planned campaigns or promotion of NHS Health Checks.

I understand the challenges that this letter presents for pharmacies and apologise for inconvenience caused. In order to have a clear approach for 2020/21 Public Health are reviewing the way we commission NHS Health Checks and will converse with the LPC and other partners about the model going forwards.
If you have any questions, please email Admin.publichealthsuffolk@suffolk.gov.uk and we will respond to your query promptly.
Yours Faithfully,

Helen Reed
Senior Health Improvement Commissioner (lifestyles & health inequalities)
Suffolk Public Health

Please note, the LPC was strongly opposed to this action but due to the increasing risk to the Public Health finances, the service changes were actioned. We are in ongoing discussions with the Commissioner about the service going forward.

Please see below for links to the SLA and list of pharmacies providing the service:

2020-2021 NHS Health Checks Pharmacy specification FINAL (5) (4)

2020-21 PH Suffolk Pharmacy Terms and Conditions FINAL (3) (7)

NHS Health Checks Pharmacy Leaflet v7 July 2018


In line with the NHS Health Check Best Practice Guidance 2019   https://www.healthcheck.nhs.uk/commissioners-and-providers/national-guidance/ all Providers will ensure practitioners are trained in ALL aspects of the NHS Health Check, from delivery to data transfer via PharmOutcomes.  Further reference should be made to the Best Practice Guidance (2019) and free e-learning can be accessed through https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/nhs-health-check/ Training on Point of Care Testing (POCT) will be available through the local POCT Provider, (ACE) to be appointed from 1 st May 2020, please contact Publichealth.suffolk@nhs.net for further information.
The Provider is responsible for ensuring that staff undertaking NHS Health Checks are appropriately trained in mandatory ‘Making Every Contact Count’ (MECC) training. Please contact MECC@onelifesuffolk.co.uk to arrange your free training. MECC training gives information about healthy lifestyle brief interventions and referral pathways to lifestyle services and will help practitioners deliver the lifestyle interventions of the programme.