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what is nhs lifeCheck ?

NHS LifeCheck is an online health service which guides people through a series of questions about their lifestyle, before informing them of areas in which a change in lifestyle can lead to overall health improvement.
But information alone does not necessarily lead to action, so NHS LifeCheck helps users set goals and seek support to ensure continued motivation as they make changes to their lifestyle.

NHS LifeCheck is for everyone 

Although the service has a particular focus on tackling health inequalities by helping people from the most deprived communities to improve their health and well-being, anybody will be able to use it. There are already three versions of NHS LifeCheck, one still in development, targeting:

NHS LifeCheck improves lives

Early pilots of NHS LifeCheck have shown that it informs, empowers and supports people as they make decisions to change their lives so that they can improve their health and well-being, and that of their children.

NHS LifeCheck is a world-class service

The vision and scope of NHS LifeCheck sets an international standard for health intervention and puts the NHS at the forefront of attempts to put people in control of their own health and well-being. Although the service is initially being developed as an online resource and will be available on the NHS Choices website, it may eventually be available in other formats that improve accessibility to the service – such as mobile phones, digital TV and kiosks.

NHS LifeCheck has its origins in public consultation 

In the 2005 consultation Your Health, Your Care, Your Say, the general public called for greater personal responsibility for their health and well-being. It is now an important part of health policy in England.

In response, the Government made a commitment to introducing NHS LifeCheck in its 2006 follow-up White Paper, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say.

NHS LifeCheck also tackles health inequalities

The tone and content of NHS LifeCheck has been designed to appeal most to those in deprived communities. To date, the Government has dedicated £5.8 million to provide the service in 83 of the most deprived areas in England.

Although NHS LifeCheck will be applied consistently across England, it provides solutions that are most relevant to individuals at a local level.

Just as we know that there is strong demand for NHS LifeCheck among members of the public, a firm and rigorous social science and medical evidence base has underpinned development of the initiative.

At the heart of the evidence base are independent evaluations of the first three NHS LifeCheck tools, carried out by the Social Science Research Unit, the People’s Partnership and Bunnyfoot Expert Evaluation.

Key findings from our evidence base

  1. NHS Teen LifeCheck succeeded in
    encouraging young people to improve their health and well-being by, for example,
    eating healthily and being more active.
  2. Health visitors who took part in the pilot
    felt that the NHS Early Years LifeCheck
    could be a good tool for helping them give parents and carers comprehensive
    information and advice.
  3. Users of the NHS Mid-life LifeCheck found
    the service informative and motivational,
    and liked the fact that information was
    based on their circumstances.

Just as importantly, the Department of Health has developed NHS LifeCheck through collaboration with a range of experts so that users benefit from the knowledge, skills and experience of health and social care professionals, academic researchers and other stakeholders such as the British Medical Association and the Faculty of Public Health. The views and experiences of the target audience have also played an important part in shaping the overall look and feel of each LifeCheck.

There will eventually be a range of NHS LifeChecks, each with a different look and feel to target different groups. However, all NHS LifeChecks will adhere to the same model, and all users will follow the same simple journey, consisting of four easy steps.

  1. Users complete a simple and confidential lifestyle assessment questionnaire.
  2. Results highlight areas where changes in lifestyle can lead to overall health
  3. Users are helped to plan for change by
    setting realistic and motivating goals.
  4. Users are referred to further sources of
    support, and can receive optional
    reminders to help them stay motivated.




Putting words into action 

Users will be able to print off their NHS LifeCheck results and discuss them with someone they trust such as their GP, health trainer or someone at the local Sure Start Children’s Centre – or they can work towards their goals alone, seeking support when needed.

Where will people access NHS LifeCheck?

For NHS LifeCheck to achieve its full potential, it must be easy to access, particularly for those from the most deprived communities.

NHS LifeCheck will be initially available online as a health service so people will be able to use it from anywhere they can access the internet, such as at home, at a friend or relative’s home, or at a high-street internet cafe.

However, NHS LifeCheck will also be available in places that users visit regularly, including:

Although NHS LifeCheck is anonymous and confidential, some people will find it useful to work closely with an intermediary – such as a housing support worker, a member of children’s centre staff or a family member – when filling in the questionnaire and responding to the results.

Where are we now?

In the latter part of 2008, two NHS LifeChecks will be rolled out in 83 of the most deprived areas in England, with national roll-out following in early 2009:

A third LifeCheck, NHS Mid-life LifeCheck (for people aged 45–60), will be piloted early in 2009, with a national roll-out to follow later in the year.

NHS Early Years LifeCheck

NHS Early Years LifeCheck has been produced in partnership with policy leads at the Department of Health and in consultation with a range of key stakeholders including doctors, parents, nurses, midwives and health visitors.  It helps parents keep their baby healthy, happy and safe, focusing on:


NHS Early Years LifeCheck can be found at

NHS Teen LifeCheck

Designed to suit the needs of young people, NHS Teen LifeCheck is a quick, fun and confidential quiz which covers a range of health and lifestyle issues, relevant to young people. These include:

NHS Teen LifeCheck was successfully piloted early in 2007 in Bolton, London (hackney), Northumberland and Portsmouth.  Following an independent evaluation several revisions have been made to LifeCheck before it’s rollout to the most deprived areas of England and then nationally.

NHS Teen LifeCheck can be found at