Pharmacists are set to offer rapid detection and help for killer conditions like heart disease as part of a major revamp of high street pharmacy services. The high street heart checks are part of an ambitious target the NHS in England has set itself as part of its Long Term Plan to prevent tens of thousands of strokes and heart attacks over the next ten years.
Plans are underway for both GPs and community pharmacists to lead the fight against common conditions that cause cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke, building on successful pilots which have reduced strokes by a quarter.
From 1 October 2019, as part of their new £13 billion five-year contract, community pharmacists will start to develop and test an early detection service to identify people who may have undiagnosed high-risk conditions like high blood pressure for referral for further testing and treatment. If successful this could be rolled out to all community pharmacies in 2021-22.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “Heart disease and strokes dramatically cut short lives, and leave thousands of people disabled every year, so rapid detection of killer conditions through High street heart checks will be a game-changer."
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Source: NHS England, 2 September 2019