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Health: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL164, tabled on 16 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to establish mandatory annual health screenings.

Answered on

30 October 2019

The Department does not have any plans to establish mandatory annual health screenings. Screening in the United Kingdom is undertaken through informed consent.

There are 11 national screening programmes that are recommended by the UK National Screening Committee, which cover 37 conditions across adults and babies (antenatal and neonatal). Approximately 11 million people are invited to participate in screening programmes each year.

There is also the NHS Health Check service which is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40-74 every five years. It is designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. The Government’s recent Green Paper Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s announced the intention to undertake a review of the NHS Health Checks programme to maximise the benefits it delivers in the next decade.

Professor Richards’ review of National Adult Screening programmes was published on 16 October and as part of this review it explored the future of screening. The Department, NHS England and Public Health England will consider the recommendations of Professor Richards’ report and publish an implementation plan in due course.