NHS Health Checks
SERVICE GRADING – AMBER
Click the link to view the rating in full – LPC Service Evaluation- Health Checks April 2021
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.
This service is currently open to 10 selected pharmacies in certain geographical areas of high deprivation.
Service Specification and Contract Details
Important Update From Public Health Suffolk
1st December 2020
Proposal to Community Pharmacies for Delivery of Health Checks 2020 – 2022
Research into the NHS Health Checks programme has established that outreach models, including delivery by pharmacies, increase access to NHS Health Checks – especially in areas of higher deprivation. As Covid-19 has both highlighted and exacerbated health inequalities, and as the risk factors for poor COVID outcomes correlate with those for cardiovascular disease, Public Health Suffolk are seeking to contract with pharmacies to widen access to NHS Health Checks. They have funding for pharmacies to deliver 2000 NHS Health Checks between now and 31st March 2022, and in order to ensure that it is worthwhile pharmacies engaging in the programme, are looking to contract with 10 pharmacies. This is one of a number of approaches being used to widen access to NHS Health Checks in Suffolk at a time when access to health care is a significant concern for many, and we will use the results of this work to inform our commissioning for a new, integrated model for NHS Health Checks from April 2022.
Details about the terms of this offer are set out in the proposal, but they key points are these:
•Pharmacies will be provided with Point of Care Testing (POCT) machines, consumables and training free of charge (provided by ACE)
•Payment will be £25 per NHS Health Check. (Whilst this appears lower than last year, the pharmacy is no longer required to pay for POCT, the costs of which exceed £6 per check.)
•Pharmacies will be able to deliver NHS Health Checks both opportunistically and in response to invite letters sent on behalf of GPs (with no set target for either approach). This is in order to ensure that we do not repeat the difficulties that arose last year with delivery of health checks, and to widen access.
•We anticipate each participating pharmacy will deliver 200 NHS Health Checks between now and 31/3/2022, potentially earning £5,000.
•An online training package is available (and accessible to all staff in participating practices)
•Pharmacies can start delivery as soon as is practically possible, subject to contracts being signed.
Only selected pharmacies have been offered the above via PharmOutcomes as the intention is to boost provision of NHS Health Checks in the parts of Suffolk with higher levels of deprivation and health inequality, though with some spread across the county to provide access in some of our market towns as well as in Ipswich and Lowestoft.
Public Health Suffolk will provide one half-day training session early in the new year (2021) for at least one member of staff from each contracted pharmacy (date, method and total number of places available to be confirmed).
Online training is available free at any time for contracted pharmacies via OnClick (a service contracted by SCC), and via the NHS Health Checks website. Contracted pharmacies will be given the access codes for OnClick in the service specification. OnClick training is a series of modules that can be accessed at any time by any members of staff in the participating pharmacy (including staff not currently delivering health checks who may like an introduction or refresher on health behaviour change). Staff can either complete all modules at once, or one at a time (approx. time commitment 2.5 hours overall).
Staff not qualified in a healthcare role and/or not previously assessed as competent to undertake the required clinical measurements will need additional training and supervision – provided or organised by the pharmacy – until assessed as competent. Guidance on the required competencies is openly available on the NHS Health Checks website. Please note it is the individual pharmacy’s responsibility to ensure that staff delivering NHS Health Checks are appropriately trained in delivering all aspects of the NHS Health Check.
The LPC have raised the need for additional support to support efficient use of the PharmOutcomes template. SCC will work directly with pharmacies and with the LPC to address this.