Increasing uptake of NHS Health Checks: A randomised controlled trial using GP computer prompts

Natalie Gold*, Karen Tan, Joseph Sherlock, Robin Watson, Tim Chadborn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Public Health England wants to increase the uptake of the NHS Health Check (NHSHC), a cardiovascular disease prevention programme. Most invitations are sent by letter, but opportunistic invitations may be issued and verbal invitations have a higher rate of uptake. Prompting staff to issue opportunistic invitations might increase uptake. 

Aim: To assess the effect on uptake of automated prompts to clinical staff to invite patients to NHSHC, delivered via primary care computer systems. 

Design and setting: Pseudo-randomised controlled trial of patients eligible for the NHSHC attending GP practices in Southwark, London. 

Method: Eligible patients were allocated into one of two conditions, (a) Prompt and (b) No Prompt, to clinical staff. The primary outcome was attendance at an NHSHC. 

Results: Fifteen of 43 (34.88%) practices in Southwark were recruited; 7564 patients were eligible for an NHSHC, 3778 (49.95%) in the control and 3786 (50.05%) in the intervention. Attendance in the intervention arm was 454 (12.09%) compared with 280 (7.41%) in the control group, a total increase of 4.58% (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.46 to 3.55; P<0.001). Regressions found an interaction between intervention and sex (OR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.44 to 0.86, P = 0.004), with the intervention primarily effective on males. Comparing the probabilities of attendance for each age category across intervention and control suggests that the intervention was primarily effective for younger patients. 

Conclusion: Prompts on computer systems in general practice were effective at improving the uptake of the NHSHC, especially for males and younger patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E693-E700
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume71
Issue number710
Early online date13 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study was funded by Public Health
England.

Open Access:This article is Open Access: CC BY 4.0 licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Publisher Copyright: © The Authors.

Citation: Increasing uptake of NHS Health Checks: a randomised controlled trial using GP computer prompts Natalie Gold, Karen Tan, Joseph Sherlock, Robin Watson, Tim Chadborn British Journal of General Practice 2021; 71 (710): e693-e700.

DOI: 10.3399/BJGP.2020.0887

Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Computer systems
  • General practice
  • Primary health care
  • Primary prevention

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