BLOG: Why I think the NHS Health Check is important
8 Apr 2022
Health Check Practitioner Kirsty shares her thoughts on the importance of having an NHS Health Check
"If we don’t know something how we can we possibly respond to it or change it?
"Many people worry about hearing that something regarding their health isn't right. For many of us, ignorance definitely feels like bliss.
"But that hasn't been the reality of my first week delivering NHS Health Checks in Norfolk. The NHS Health Check isn't just to diagnose problems - it's also to show you the positives!
"We have seen the majority of people leave our appointments not with some bad news - but instead with the reassurance that, actually, things are going better than they thought with regard to their health and wellbeing.
"The necessity of the NHS Health Check is that we clearly cannot see a lot of our health indicators directly. For example, cholesterol cannot be seen by just looking at someone; there is no way of knowing if it's is healthy without checking it.
"Checking enables us to see where we are - and if we need to respond.
"Quite often the response, if there is an issue, is relatively straightforward and practical too. If your cholesterol is a bit higher, for example, giving you information about the kind of foods you should try to eat more or less of can help maintain or lower your level is quick, easy and sustainable.
"It is early days delivering the NHS Health Checks for me, but I have definitely seen a higher percentage of people who have been pleasantly surprised by their results than people who need to go back to their GP for help with something.
"And those who I have referred back to their GP for support with their weight, or their blood sugar level or their cholesterol - amongst other things - have said knowing what to do feels like a positive, useful thing to do. Nothing scary or nothing doom and gloomy!
"People I have seen have also told me they have appreciated having a safe space to discuss their lifestyle and health and that they were leaving feeling motivated to make small changes in their lifestyle with the SMART goal I've helped them set.
"Another didn’t feel ready to commit to a goal, but told me they are happy they now know where to find the resources to support them.
"For me, the NHS Health Check is not about finding out the worst. It's about taking control."