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Improving health
Previously NHS Health Scotland

Keep Well

This section is focussed on informing, educating and providing support for Health Professionals interested in the Keep Well Programme in Scotland.

Keep Well was launched in October 2006 as part of the Scottish Government’s 2005 health policy ‘Delivering for health’. This policy listed a number of interventions focused specifically at tackling health inequalities. One of the major actions for primary care was the development of an anticipatory care model targeting geographic communities of greatest need. The programme was expanded further through Better Health Better Care (2007) and Equally Well (2008).

Keep Well policy alignment with the Healthcare Quality Strategy is achieved through its continued drive to deliver mutually beneficial partnerships between patients, their families and primary care, and the most appropriate interventions and services relevant to that person’s need at the right time.


The Keep Well vision is ´to increase the rate of health improvement in deprived communities by enhancing primary care services to deliver anticipatory care´.

This will be achieved by:

  • identifying and targeting those at particular risk of preventable serious ill-health (including those with undetected chronic disease)
  • offering appropriate interventions and services to them
  • providing monitoring and follow-up.

Keep Well checks

In the Keep Well programme, individuals aged between 40 and 64 living in areas of high deprivation are invited to attend a health check. The checks include screening for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and its main risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, diet as well as discussions around wider life circumstances such as employment and literacy. Further details on the health check are outlined in the Keep Well patient journey poster (poster for health professionals) - PDF [423 kb].

Keep Well areas

The Keep Well programme operates in all NHS Health Board areas throughout Scotland. From April 2012, Well North came under the banner of Keep Well.

Communities were initially selected for Keep Well by using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation and focusing on NHS board areas with high concentrations of the ´most deprived 15%´. In April 2012, the target population extended to carers, prison and homeless populations and individuals with an addiction to substance misuse.

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