Background: The NHS Health Checks is a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management programme for individuals in England aged between 40 and 74 with the aim of identifying previously unassessed individuals that are at high risk of CVD. Little research to date has explored patient perceptions and opinions of Health Checks.
Objective: This paper aims to investigate the perceptions and opinions of patients who had attended a Health Check appointment within a cohort of 83 General Practices in Gloucestershire.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of patients who had completed a Health Check appointment during the period May to June 2012 within a single county in England. Quantitative and qualitative data were acquired from 1,011 standardised and anonymised patient surveys sent out by a Health Check Commissioner and GPs. Data gathered included perceptions concerning all aspects of the Health Checks process and actual appointment. Descriptive analysis was used to interrogate the quantitative data. Inductive content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data.
Results: Concerns about health were a principal driver of attendance. Reassurance, access to health information and guidance, and the identification of CVD risk and CVD diagnosis were perceived as key benefits of attending the appointment. Principal disadvantages included inconsistencies in the Health Check process, administration of appointments and a lack of appropriate follow up advice.
Conclusion: Health Checks are popular with patients and provide useful outcomes but greater consistency is needed in engaging patients and describing its purpose