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Government slows national roll-out of CVD screening

By Nigel Praities

The Government has decided to slow the pace of the rollout of its controversial programme for cardiovascular screening.

The Department of Health told Pulse only a few ‘spearhead' PCTs would implement vascular checks from next April.

The DH had planned to conduct vascular checks in everyone aged 40 to 74 from next year, but now admits the plans will be phased in over two or more years.

In a statement, a DH spokesperson said: ‘Many PCTs, especially in spearhead areas, have already commissioned vascular checks type activity, and so even though we are still developing our implementation and delivery plans, it is likely that spearhead PCTs will be more advanced in delivering this programme than others.'

It also admitted the promised £250 million of new funding set aside for the scheme may change and that the exact cost will 'depend on how the programme is delivered'.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul described the screening programme as another example of ‘policy by political announcement' and said he was unsurprised the Government was now seeking to modifying the plans.

‘It has put the cart before the horse and should have addressed the logistics of the scheme before announcing it,' he said. ‘It is yet another example of the Government coming out with populist rhetoric without having thought through the implementation issues.

‘We are only now having an early dialogue [with the Government] about how to implement this,' he added.

Framingham charts

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