Skip to main content

Screening

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 50 of his Department's report, Vascular checks: risk assessment and management, when he expects (a) to publish guidance to primary care trusts on health inequalities and (b) the test bed sites in Spearhead primary care trusts to become operational. (280412)

Since the publication of the report referred to by the hon. Member the Department has published two guidance documents for primary care trusts on the implementation of the NHS Health Check Programme. 'Next Steps' Guidance for Primary Care Trusts was published in November 2008. The NHS Health Check: Vascular Risk Assessment and Management Best Practice Guidance was published in April 2009. Both guidance documents contain material relevant to health inequalities and copies have already been placed in the Library. Next Steps outlines how the Health Checks Programme (at that stage still referred to as Vascular Checks) fits the Department's wider aims on tackling health inequalities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 32 of his Department's report, Vascular checks: risk assessment and management, when he expects his Department's call and recall system to become operational. (280413)

We are currently working on the development of a call and recall system with a view to having it in place during 2012-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 27 of his Department's report, Vascular checks: risk assessment and management, what guidance has been issued to primary care trusts on providing training in order that staff can most effectively convey an understanding of the risks revealed by the NHS health check. (280414)

The NHS Health Check: Vascular Risk Assessment and Management Best Practice Guidance, published in April 2009, addresses workforce and training issues. A copy has already been placed in the Library. In addition, we have made training available, at no cost to primary care trusts (PCTs), to support the delivery of the programme. This training includes how to communicate a person's risk of vascular disease in a way that is understandable. In addition, PCTs are developing their own materials to support those conducting the risk assessment element of the NHS Health Check and help explain to people what their risk score means. We are sharing examples of these approaches through the Learning Network.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the evidential basis is for deciding that 40 years will be the lower age limit for the NHS health check. (280416)

To support the development of the NHS Health Check, the Department undertook modelling work to better understand the likely cost and clinical effectiveness of the programme. Both the technical consultation on the modelling and the impact assessment have been placed in the Library. This work identified that a national five-year call and recall programme for those aged between 40 and 74 was both clinically and cost effective.

We understand that within some primary care trusts (PCTs), calling people into the programme earlier from particular communities may have additional benefits, for example, where PCTs have significant South Asian communities. This scenario was not tested through the modelling. However, PCTs can decide to extend the programme if they wish, where they anticipate that additional benefits will accrue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the cost of providing an IT support system for the NHS health check. (280417)

Work is in hand to define the information technology requirements to support the delivery of the NHS Health Checks programme. Costs will depend on which option is chosen to deliver it.