Dr Roger Boyle, the DoH's national clinical director for CHD, said: 'The National Screening Committee is working on appraising the clinical and economic effectiveness of the programme.'
A DoH spokeswoman added: 'Speculation about a cardiovascular screening programme is premature, and there has not been a formal presentation to the DoH.'
Sir Muir Gray, programmes director for the National Screening Committee, said that although the committee was considering a cardiovascular screening scheme, the final clinical and economic appraisal of the programme would not be ready until October. He said he hoped to present a proposal to the DoH by the end of the year.
He added that he expected to negotiate with the GPC about plans to fund the programme through the quality framework, because GPs would be involved in the programme.
But he said most of the work would be done by health trainers under the health checks scheme proposed by the primary care White Paper (GP, 3 February).
GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'It can't work through the quality framework. There still needs to be more money if GPs are to perform more work.'