Agenda item

Restart and prioritisation plans for the delivery of the NHS Health programme.

To consider and discuss a report from the Director of Public Health which provides an overview and update on the NHS Health Check programme within Leeds. 


The report submitted by the Director of Public Health focused on the impact of Covid-19 on NHS Health Check programme delivery throughout 2020/21 and the steps being taken to plan for the restart and recovery of this programme.


In attendance for this item were:

·  Cllr Salma Arif - Executive Member for Public Health and Active Lifestyles

·  Cllr David Jenkins - Deputy Executive Member

·  Victoria Eaton - Director of Public Health

·  Shona McFarlane - Deputy Director Social Work and Social Care

·  Lucy Jackson - Chief Officer Public Health

·  Carl Mackie - Head of Public Health

·  Gaynor Connor - Leeds GP Confederation


Cllr Arif introduced the report explaining that the report provided an overview and update of the NHS Health Check programme. The NHS Health Check is one of the nationally mandated public health functions for Local Authorities within the 2021 Health and Social Care Act.


The NHS Health Check is for people who are aged 40-74 who do not have any pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or stroke with the aim of preventing conditions developing, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle, by providing advice, offering support and or medication. The NHS Health Check is currently delivered through GP’s with the current provider being the GP’s Confederation.


Cllr Arif explained that the agenda report highlights how the pandemic has significantly impacted on the delivery of this service with significantly lower numbers being invited for the Health Check, meaning that fewer people are identified with potential life-threatening conditions. It is therefore imperative that this re-start of NHS Health Checks is activated as soon as possible to mitigate any increase in cardiovascular conditions.


Cllr Arif informed the Board that the current providers contract had been extended for a further two years to allow a focused continuation of the service and prioritise the re-start and catch up of Health Checks.


For this item the Board were shown a presentation with the salient points picked out as follows:

·  Pre-pandemic figures had shown that Leeds had been doing well with one of the highest uptakes across the core cities.  Uptake was also 10% higher than the national average.

·  The impact of the pandemic has seen numbers reduced with lower number of invites being sent and fewer people receiving an NHS Health Check in 2020/21 compared with 2019/20.

·  The 4 elements to re-plan, which included:

o  Engaging with each Primary Care Network (PCN)

o  Offer extra clinics via extended access

o  Recruit extra support through a sessional team

o  Digital and tools to help promote and engage

·  A graph was provided to show that the approach set out had already seen improved take up of annual health checks for people with a learning disability.

·  Current projection was set out as:

o  Return to pre-pandemic level of activity during 2022/23

o  Immediate focus on those most likely to benefit

o  Target high risk individuals who missed an NHS Health Check in last 12 months

·  It was also noted that there was a risk associated with the re-start due to a global shortage of blood bottles. As such no non urgent blood samples can be taken. Work is ongoing to assess how long the shortage may go on for and look at solutions to move forward and continue with the programme.


The Board’s discussion included the following:

·  The impact of re-starting the programme if there remains a shortage of blood bottles.

·  The capacity of GP’s to do the Health Checks given that they are also assisting with the Covid-19 vaccination programme, including booster jabs.

·  Partnership working to deliver extended access services.

·  Co-ordination and publicising the programme in a timely way so that resources are not stretched.

·  The use of other accessible resources and community venues other than GP surgeries for facilitating the Health Checks.

·  Communication relating to the NHS Health Check to be inclusive to all community groups.


The Board was reminded that the NHS Health Check programme is nationally mandated and was advised that there is a national review being undertaken that is considering patient eligibility for NHS Health Checks which will therefore also need to be factored in locally.


The Chair reflected on particular references made during the Board’s discussions in relation to older people having access to NHS health checks and primary care services in general. Linked to this, reference was made to Councillor Jenkin’s role as the Council’s Older Person Champion and the importance of working closely to ensure that older people’s voices are being captured to help influence the development and delivery of such important services.


RECOMMENDED – That the content of the report and the comments made by the Board be noted.




Supporting documents: