We are seeking members of the public to contribute to a research project on the NHS Health Check programme. If you live in England and are aged 40–74 you may be able to help us.
The NHS Health Check aims to look for early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia, and to help attendees to lower their risk of developing these conditions. The Health Check is currently offered to all adults (aged 40–74) in England, so long as they have not already been diagnosed with certain pre-existing conditions. You can read more about the Health Check, and who is eligible to receive a Check, here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/
Our research project is a ‘realist review’. We are gathering together and examining existing published research and other documents, to see what they can tell us about how the Health Check works (or not). We are interested in finding out whether the Health Check is more accessible, useful and effective for particular groups of people, and whether some ways of delivering the Health Check are better than others. We’re also especially interested in what happens after a Health Check: does the Health Check help people to change their behaviour and lower their risk of disease? Does it provide them with enough support to help them to do so?
What is involved?
We are interested in speaking to a range of people who are eligible to receive a Health Check, or who have already received one, about their impressions or experience of this service. We would like to hear about what you think is important, what works, and what does not work in the Health Check service.
We’ll use this information to help us to shape our research project. At first, we would like your input to help us decide what we should look for and what might be important in the documents included in our review. As the review progresses, we’ll show you our emerging results and findings and ask for your feedback. Later on, we’ll also ask for your opinion on how best to share these findings with others, especially with other members of the public and providers of the Health Check.
If you’re selected to take part, we will invite you to join up to four meetings, held over the next 8 months. During these meetings, you’ll have the opportunity to speak with members of our research team and other members of the public for around one hour. We will try to organise the meetings at a time that is convenient for everyone who takes part. For now, we think it’s likely that the meetings will take place online, using Zoom video conferencing software. We will make sure that taking part doesn’t cost you anything. For some of the meetings we may send you something short to read in advance, so that we can get you up to speed with what we have been up to.
Will what I say during the meetings be kept confidential?
During the meetings, we will take notes and will ask for your permission to make a recording. However, our conversations, notes and any recordings will remain confidential and nothing you say will be quoted in any project reports.
Do I have to take part?
No, there is no obligation to take part and participation is entirely voluntary. If you do decide to take part, you may stop participating at any point and do not have to give any reasons for doing so.
What are the possible disadvantages and risks of taking part?
The main disadvantage is your time commitment. We will try to keep this to a minimum.
What are the benefits of taking part?
Your contributions during the meetings will hopefully help us improve what we find from our review. For example, you might highlight important issues which we had previously overlooked. As we will also be seeking your feedback and advice on any guidance we produce based on our findings, you will have the opportunity to shape these as well.
Who can take part?
To get involved, you’ll need to be:
• Aged between 40 and 74
• Living in England
• Eligible for (or have already attended) an NHS Health Check.
Please note that some people are not eligible for the Health Check, including those who have had a heart attack or a stroke, have a current prescription for statins to lower cholesterol, or have been diagnosed with diabetes or some other health conditions. The full list of pre-existing conditions is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/.
If you are interested in helping us, but are not sure if you are eligible, please get in touch and we can help you to work out whether or not you meet the criteria to take part.
What will happen to the findings of the research project?
With your participation and input, we will produce guidance and resources that are designed to improve the NHS Health Checks programme. We will share these via presentations, newsletters, websites and blogs (e.g. NIHR blogs), peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and relevant meetings/seminars.
This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (NIHR129209). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The project is a collaboration between the Universities of Oxford and Kent. The team includes Dr Geoff Wong (project lead) (Oxford), Ms Claire Duddy (Oxford), Dr Erica Gadsby (Kent) and Prof Janet Krska (Kent). Our Patient and Public Involvement lead is Ms Vivienne Hibberd.
As a gesture of appreciation for your help with this project, we will send each participant a £30 Amazon or John Lewis voucher for each meeting they attend.
If you're selected to take part, we will invite you to join up to four meetings, to be held between April and December 2021.
University of Oxford, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
If you have any questions about this project, or if you are interested in taking part, please email Claire Duddy (email@example.com).