Lessons learned from England's Health Checks Programme : Using qualitative research to identify and share best practice

ISMAIL, Hanif and KELLY, Shona (2015). Lessons learned from England's Health Checks Programme : Using qualitative research to identify and share best practice. BMC Family Practice, 16, p. 144.

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Official URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2296/16/144/abst...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-015-0365-z


Background: This study aimed to explore the challenges and barriers faced by staff involved in the delivery of the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check, a systematic cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management program in primary care. Methods: Data have been derived from three qualitative evaluations that were conducted in 25 General Practices and involved in depth interviews with 58 staff involved all levels of the delivery of the Health Checks. Analysis of the data was undertaken using the framework approach and findings are reported within the context of research and practice considerations. Results: Findings indicated that there is no ‘one size fits all’ blueprint for maximising uptake although success factors were identified: evolution of the programme over time in response to local needs to suit the particular characteristics of the patient population; individual staff characteristics such as being proactive, enthusiastic and having specific responsibility; a supportive team. Training was clearly identified as an area that needed addressing and practitioners would benefit from CVD specific baseline training and refresher courses to keep them up to date with recent developments in the area. However there were other external factors that impinged on an individual’s ability to provide an effective service, some of these were outside the control of individuals and included cutbacks in referral services, insufficient space to run clinics or general awareness of the Health Checks amongst patients. Conclusions: The everyday experiences of practitioners who participated in this study suggest that overall, Health Check is perceived as a worthwhile exercise. But, organisational and structural barriers need to be addressed. We also recommend that clear referral pathways be in place so staff can refer patients to appropriate services (healthy eating sessions, smoking cessation, and exercise referrals). Local authorities need to support initiatives that enable data sharing and linkage so that GP Practices are informed when patients take up services such as smoking cessation or alcohol harm reduction programmes run by social services.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12875-015-0365-z
Page Range: p. 144
Depositing User: Shona Kelly
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 14:12
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 11:41
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11013

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