A review of the Bracknell Forest Council NHS Health Checks Programme

Blood pressure cuff on a male arm and a hand holding it.

NHS Health Checks (NHSHC) is a population level screening programme that aims to identify and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and other long-term conditions such as kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia. Local authorities have a statutory duty to offer everyone between the age of 40 and 74 years old who do not a pre-existing condition such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, an NHS Health Check every five years.

In April 2023 Healthy Dialogues were commissioned by Bracknell Forest Council to conduct an audit of their NHS Health Check programme. The purpose of the audit was to examine how the programme is being commissioned and delivered and make recommendations on what can be improved.


Our process to conduct the audit included:

  • An overall review of performance of the programme looking at patient-level data of the eligible population and an equity review of those invited and those who took up a NHSHC
  • Interviews with 11 stakeholders involved in the Bracknell Forest Council NHS Health Checks programme exploring themes of the NHS Health Check StARS framework
  • Interviews with providers of the NHSHC programme, to explore the themes of the Oxfordshire County Council NHS Health Check Quality Assurance Audit Tool.
  • A survey and focus group to patients eligible for NHSHC to explore their awareness and experiences of NHSHCs. Our survey received 501 responses.


Findings showed a strong commitment across leadership in Bracknell Forest Council and partner organisations including Berkshire East Public Health Hub and Frimley ICB to work together to improve the NHS Health Check programme. There was enthusiasm to co-develop solutions with providers and partner organisations to improve how the NHSHC are offered and delivered and improve provider support. Patient feedback demonstrated that patients saw the value in having an NHS Health Check and were generally keen to have one.

Our review identified key recommendations for programme leads and commissioners to improve the NHS Check offer and uptake across Bracknell Forest under the themes identified in the StARS framework.