DoH wants pharmacists to screen for CVD

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

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

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

The decision follows a 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 that he was exploring the role of the local pharmacy by 'making it a healthy living centre through treating minor ailments, screening, routine testing, giving advice on taking medicine and support for patients.'

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