Pharmacies 'may provide CVD screening'

The DoH's cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening programme could be provided by pharmacies as well as GPs.

It is part of a push to expand the range of services offered in pharmacies in England.

A DoH spokesperson said it was currently modelling ways to implement the screening in GP surgeries and pharmacies by 2009/10. 

The move follows pledge by prime minister Gordon Brown that the NHS will screen for a host of conditions.

The National Screening Committee (NSC) published its guidance last week on how a UK-wide CVD screening programme should be implemented. 

NSC director Dr Anne Mackie said their pilots were for general practice and they had not looked into pharmacy.

It recommended inviting all patients aged 40-74 for blood tests and vascular risk assessment, which would take place in GP practices that would run three or four 30-minute screening sessions per week.  

Speaking at Labour's spring conference last week, health secretary Alan Johnson said he was exploring the role of the local pharmacy, ‘Making it a healthy living centre... treating minor ailments, screening, routine testing, advice on taking medicine and support for patients.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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