Older couple eating healthy lunch together

What is a ‘Health Check’ or medical MOT?

4 September 2023

Health checks and full medical assessments can help you gain a better understanding of your health and identify any potential risks. They can also highlight any concerns or areas of your health and wellbeing where steps could be taken to prevent any future illnesses.

Importantly, a health check should not be a substitute for a visit to your GP. If you have a health concern or symptoms, you should see your doctor. If you're struggling to find time to see your GP, and you’re an AXA Health member, then our online GP service enables you to have an online or phone consultation, when it suits you.

Private health assessment options

There are numerous options if you want a health check with a private provider, with many offering different levels of assessments – from checks in specific areas to full body health MOTs.

Some offer the same checks as the NHS and others offer more. There are also clinics that provide complementary screening, such as hair analysis to reveal vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or bio-resonance tests to measure energy levels. However, please note - not all of these are proven to be accurate or beneficial.

Nuffield and Circle Health Group assessments

If you're an AXA Health member, you may be able to enjoy a 25% discount off health assessments with Circle Health Group and Nuffield, depending on your plan. Please log in to your online account, to see if you have access to this offer and for more information.

The NHS Health Check

The NHS offers you a free health check every 5 years if you’re aged between 40 and 74 and do not have any of these pre-existing conditions:

  • heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • transient ischaemic attack
  • inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • stroke
  • currently being prescribed statins to lower cholesterol
  • previous checks have found that you have a 20% or higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years.1

> Read more Dealing with diabetes – your questions answered

The check includes a range of routine health tests and questions about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle. The results give your doctor a clearer picture of your risk of developing:

  • heart disease,
  • stroke,
  • kidney disease,
  • type 2 diabetes
  • some forms of dementia.1

If identified early, these conditions can be treated more successfully or potentially prevented with some lifestyle or dietary changes for example.

The NHS Health Check is carried out by a healthcare professional, such as a practice nurse at your GP surgery. They will discuss the results with you and offer personalised advice and support to help you address any areas of concern.

What the test involves

 health check infographic

Start your healthy lifestyle right now…

The NHS highlight that “for every 30 to 40 people having an NHS Health Check, 1 person is diagnosed with high blood pressure.”2 Which if our blood pressure remains elevated for long periods of time this can put an extra strain on our heart and cardiovascular system.

With or without one of these health assessments, you can make changes for a healthier lifestyle right now. You don’t need an MOT to tell you that your car has a problem, so why wait for a test result before you address those areas of your life that you know are not as healthy as they could be?

If you’re concerned about your health, then you could try introducing more fruit and veg into your diet, drinking less alcohol or increasing the amount of exercise you undertake each week…making small changes to help a future you.

>Read more How much is too much alcohol?

You can find plenty of inspiration in our Wellbeing pages to get you started. And always remember, we're here to support you. If you have any questions about any health issue, including how to improve your diet or activity levels, contact our Ask the Expert team for some help and guidance.


  1. What is an NHS Health Check - NHS
  2. Do NHS Health Checks work? - NHS

Ask our health professionals

You’re not alone. We’re here to help you take care of your health. 

Our email service allows allows you to ask our team of experienced health professionals, including nurses, midwives, counsellors, pharmacists and dieticians, your health related question. 

You don’t have to be a member, and you can ask for yourself or anyone in your family. We’ll get back to you via email, usually within 24 hours, with clear information and support.