Health Survey for England

The Health Survey for England is a major monitoring tool looking at the nation’s health.

About the study

The Health Survey for England is a major monitoring tool looking at the nation’s health. It is used by the Government to plan health services and make important policy decisions that have an impact on us all.

Essential information

The Health Survey for England is the main source of information for the Government about the nation’s health. It’s funded by NHS England and is used to shape health policy and improve health services, so that we can all stay healthier, for longer.

Improving health services

Most of us rely on public health services, and the Health Survey for England is used by local authorities and GPs to deliver better healthcare and improve treatment. The survey alerted GPs to the fact that lots of older people weren’t aware that they had kidney disease, and as a result, GPs are now much more vigilant for early symptoms.

5 a day

The survey has resulted in health awareness campaigns that are helping us all to be healthier, like the 5 a day campaign to get people to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

We need to speak to everyone

We want the survey to be as representative of England as possible, which means we need to speak to people all over the country, not just people who have visited the hospital or are in touch with their GP.

Why take part?

How the Health Survey for England has made a difference

Taking the pressure off

We found that many people don’t know they have high blood pressure – which can cause serious health problems. Doctors now check blood pressure more regularly, and offer more people medication to control their blood pressure.

Quick crossings

We discovered that most people aged 65 and over don’t walk fast enough to get across a pelican crossing in sufficient time. Because of this, many health authorities are now considering more time for crossings.

Spotting kidney disease

We learned that very few people – especially older people – knew that they had kidney disease. This signalled to GPs that they need to be especially vigilant of the warning signs in order to provide treatment for it.

A little time to make a big difference

Of course it’s up to you whether to take part in the survey, but we hope you do. We’re just asking that you spare a little time to tell us about your health. We know your time is precious, but our work really does make a difference. We help government and local authorities make the right decisions about the big issues. 

What we've found out

Learn more about what the Health Survey for England and other research has uncovered in this short animation.


Why have I been chosen?

Why you’re so important to us

We’ve chosen your address at random using the publicly available Postcode Address File, to make sure we get a truly representative picture of everyone in England. Your address can’t be replaced by another one, as this would bias the results.

We want to hear from everyone

It’s really important to us and our client that our research represents everyone living in England. Whether you’re old or young, rich or poor, well or not so well, living in Cornwall or Cumbria, we value your information.

Whoever you are, your information is important to us. Taking part is an opportunity to shape the decisions made in government and local authorities about health policy and services that have an impact on us all. 

Health Survey for England and Our Future Health Study

We are aware that some people who have been selected for Health Survey for England may also have received a letter for a different study, called Our Future Health. 

There are a few key differences between the studies:

  • Health Survey for England is funded by NHS England, Our Future Health is funded by a collaboration between the public, charity and private sectors.
  • Health Survey for England is used to track how health and health related behaviours in England are changing across the years, with results published each year by NHS England. Our Future Health data will be used by its various funders to conduct health related analysis.
  • Health Survey for England provides a health visit in the privacy of your own home completed by a qualified bio-medical fieldworker. Our Future Health requires you to visit a clinic.

Taking part in one study does not exclude you from taking part in the other. Each study collects different information in different ways.

Health Survey for England provides an unrivalled source of important data, recording the health of the English population and helping to deliver many advancements in diagnosis and treatments for the NHS and beyond. We hope that if you have received a letter from Our Future Health you will still take part in Health Survey for England and help inform health policy in England for future generations. 

Who are NatCen?

Read more

What’s involved?

Interviewer visit

If you’ve had a letter inviting you to take part in the survey, one of our interviewers will make contact with you in the next week or so. When the interviewer visits your address, they all carry photo ID with our logo on it. We understand that you may be busy, so we’ll organise the interview at a time that suits you.

The interview

Your interviewer will ask you about a range of topics including your health and aspects of your lifestyle that can affect it. And don’t worry – you don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, we can just skip on to the next one

No need to prepare

There’s no need to prepare for the interview. You don’t need any special knowledge, we just want to find out about your daily life and what your health is like. Most people agree to be interviewed and enjoy taking part.

Health visit

Following on from the interview, you may be invited to take part in an additional visit from a qualified biomedical fieldworker. They’ll ask you about any medicines you take. Our biomedical fieldworker will also ask your permission to take some measurements, like your height and blood pressure.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to agree to everything at the start. The interviewer or biomedical fieldworker will explain each topic or measurement and you can decide about each one.

HSE 2024 documents

Interview leaflet

If you do not have your leaflet about your interview or you have lost it, you can view it here. 


If you have not received your showcards or if you have lost them, you can access them by clicking here

Thank you for taking part

If you have taken part in the Health Survey for England, click here for more information

Privacy notice

We understand you may have some questions about our credentials and how we deal with personal information. Find out more here.

Contact us 

If you have any queries, or want to request that we change or delete your information, contact us:

Chloe Robinson, Research Director

Unit 15, Ashton Gate, Ashton Road, 
Romford, Essex, RM3 8UF. 

Tel: 0800 526 397 Email:

NHS Digital Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officers are responsible for upholding your rights and making sure we process your information correctly.

If you would like to complain to the Data Protection Regulator, you can contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane,