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Patient experiences of telephone outreach to enhance uptake of NHS Health Checks in more deprived communities and minority ethnic groups: A qualitative interview study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-372
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Expectations
Issue number3
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2019


Background: The NHS Health Checks preventative programme aims to reduce cardiovascular morbidity across England. To improve equity in uptake, telephone outreach was developed in Bristol, involving community workers telephoning patients amongst communities potentially at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and/or less likely to take up a written invitation, to engage them with NHS Health Checks. Where possible, caller cultural background/main language is matched with that of the patient called. The call includes an invitation to book an NHS Health Check appointment, lifestyle questions from the Health Check, and signposting to lifestyle services. Objective: To explore the experiences of patients who received an outreach call. Design/Setting/Participants: Thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 24 patients (15 female), from seven primary care practices, who had received an outreach call. Results: The call increased participants’ understanding of NHS Health Checks and overcame anticipated difficulties with making an appointment. Half reported that they would not have booked if only invited by letter. The cultural identity/language skills of the caller were important in facilitating the interaction for some who might otherwise encounter language or cultural barriers. The inclusion of lifestyle questions and signposting prompted a minority to make lifestyle changes. Conclusions: Participants valued easily generalizable aspects of the intervention—a telephone invitation with ability to book during the call—and reported that it prompted acceptance of an NHS Health Check. A caller who shared their main language/cultural background was important for a minority of participants, and improved targeting of this would be beneficial.

    Research areas

  • NHS Health Checks, Cardiovascular diseases, Inequalities, Telephone invitation, Outreach, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic factors, Qualitative research

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    Licence: CC BY


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