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NHS Health Check e-Bulletin - July 2013 edition

Professor Kevin Fenton on the launch of the PHE Implementation Review and Action Plan

Prof Kevin FentonProf Kevin FentonI am delighted to bring you the e-Bulletin for July early, as it heralds the publication of the NHS Health Check implementation review and associated action plan.  Many of you have contributed to this review by either taking part in the qualitative research which underpinned our actions or provided feedback during the consultation and engagement process.  I would like to thank you all for your enthusiasm and commitment, which demonstrates the real opportunity we have for transforming the health and social care system and creating a world leading NHS Health Check programme.

 By listening to you and understanding the challenges that you face, we now have a clear 10 point plan for what needs to be done.  Urgent action is required to reduce the growing burden of non-communicable disease and the NHS Health Check programme offers us an important opportunity to start to rebalance the behavioural and physiological risk factors which contribute the most to premature death, disability and health inequalities across England.  It is for these reasons that we must remain committed and focused in ensuring effective implementation and evaluation of this critical programme.

Public Health England (PHE) has been working very closely with the Local Government Association, NHS England and NICE to provide our collective position on the evidence base for this programme.  We know that buy-in and support for the programme in some quarters has been one of the key barriers for successful implementation.  It is for this reason we felt that PHE and our partners needed to provide a clear position for the prioritisation of this programme.  We also wanted to share our assurance to lead this programme with scientific credibility and it is for this reason we commit to the development of an Expert Clinical and Scientific Advisory Panel which will be responsible for reviewing emerging evidence and research needs. In addition to the two Department of Health national evaluations, it will also promote future research, development and evaluation of this programme. PHE will also coordinate a refresh of the economic modelling conducted in 2008, updating the assumptions in the light of new data and experience.

During my recent media interviews regarding the NHS Health Check programme, I have also been describing the new interactive map which we will soon be launching on the NHS Health Check website.  This will allow national transparent reporting of the number of NHS Health Checks being offered and received by each local authority.   We know that members of the public want to know more about this service and we will explore feature opportunities for how this map could be used to detail local service information. This local transparency activation of public and provider support is critical. Local authorities are now well positioned for scale-up of this programme, improving coverage, uptake, quality and referral to risk management services. PHE and our partners are committed to strengthening programme governance, supporting implementation science, and ensuring on-going impact evaluations of this initiative.

In closing, I wanted to share some feedback I received following my BBC Breakfast News interview on Sunday morning from a member of the public. Simply, they want to say thank you for all we are doing for people and communities.  This programme does make a difference to people lives. I also wanted to thank you all for the different roles you play in the NHS Health Check programme. Together, we can make a big difference. Enjoy the summer holidays.