New report claims health checks are a waste of money


A report published in the Journal of Public Health appears to cast doubt on the cost effectiveness of wellbeing plans that include health checks for the over 40s.

Research it has published provided by the LSE and Liverpool University argues so-called ‘mid-life MOTs’ [those designed to pick up signs of heart and kidney disease, as well as other symptoms like diabetes] are flawed.

The report suggests mid-life health checks rely on “weak concepts, denies strong scientific counter-evidence and ignores persistent implementation issues.”

The report argues better interventions include strategies to improve healthy eating – which has the potential to half instances of cardiovascular disease.

In total, the research suggests health checks like these waste around £450 million per year, and at most, only prevent around 1,000 premature deaths per year.

Professor Simon Capewell, Institute of Psychology, health & society, said: “Our research found that the scheme is very costly and ineffective.”

Currently, employees aged between 40 and 74, and who have not already been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition can be assessed every five years for their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, and this is provided by the NHS.