H6. Staff Health Checks

“We will offer staff health checks, e.g. the NHS Lifecheck, with appropriate follow up and audit.  We will also encourage eligible employees to participate in the NHS Health Check for vascular disease, and other NHS screening programmes (for example for breast or bowel cancer).”

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by becoming a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve and why it is important

This pledge sets out to increase the number of staff participating in appropriate health check programmes run in-house or by the NHS, as a means of preventing and detecting health conditions.

Encouraging people aged over 40 to take up their 5 yearly NHS Health Check when invited can help to reduce their risk of vascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke.

Vascular disease affects the lives of over 4 million people in England. It is a major killer and causes 36 per cent of all deaths (170,00 a year in England) and is responsible for a fifth of all hospital admissions. It is the largest cause of long term ill health and disability, impairing the quality of life and impacting on the working life of many people. By identifying the risk of vascular disease early, and taking steps to reduce it, employees can improve their chances of maintaining or improving their health as they get older.

Benefits to public health

Encouraging employees to undertake appropriate health checks will help in the prevention and early detection of health conditions – having a positive impact on public health.

The UK has an ageing workforce. Evidence shows that working can be beneficial for health and wellbeing, as well as fitness.  Keeping employees in work can have a beneficial effect on their own and their family’s health.

Online tools such as LifeCheck will offer advice and help your employees to set goals and targets to change their behaviour which will help improve their physical and emotional well-being.

Benefits to employers/employees

Common health problems now account for about two-thirds of sickness absence, long-term incapacity and early retirement.

Encouraging your employees to participate in health and well being programmes (such as NHS screening programmes) when invited can benefit your organisation by reducing both absenteeism and presenteeism at no added cost to you as an employer.

People’s health and wellbeing can impact greatly on their work performance, as well as whether they are off work temporarily or permanently.  This will clearly affect an organisation’s productivity and businesses’ profitability.

How you can deliver this pledge

By working with the local health community to encourage employees to participate in NHS screening programmes when invited and other programmes that improve their health and well-being.

By promoting what the NHS can offer for free via your internal communication channels.

By using your staff intranet site to link to NHS Choices, a free internet service. You can contact them at nhschoicescomms@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

The workplace can be a good location to run some of these programmes especially for employees who are not in frequent contact with their GP. If you are running your own programmes in house, your local health community can advise on how they fit with those offered by the NHS.

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide pledge delivery plans, laying out how they intend to meet each of the pledges they have signed up to.  They will have up to 500 words to describe their plans for each pledge they are signed up to.  All delivery plans will be published on this website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year.  For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update.  Further information on the reporting arrangements for each pledge is available.  All annual updates will be published on this website.

We are currently developing a web-based system that will allow partners to complete their delivery plans and annual updates online from 2013.

Partners signed up to this pledge.

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