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Supermarkets set to offer NHS health checks at the checkout

Exclusive Supermarkets could begin conducting NHS health checks, using in-store tannoy announcements to attract shoppers.

The suggestion forms part of Greater Manchester Devolution board’s strategy to boost public health by increasing uptake to the national cardiovascular screening programme.

Although funding was still being negotiated, the board is targeting for pilots to be rolled out across Trafford and Oldham, papers published online revealed.

The proposal has been discussed alongside plans to also boost awareness about the NHS Health Check programme, which in Manchester could include promoting it in mosques and other ‘places of worship’, the papers said.

The Health Check programme was originally introduced in 2009 and aims to give all adults aged 40-74 a five-yearly cardiovascular risk assessment, but has been dogged by criticisms ever since, with leading GPs warning it leads to overtreatment and primary care resources being diverted to the ‘worried well’ and several studies demonstrating poor uptake and that it fails to identify those people most at risk from heart disease.

A case study published alongside the Greater Manchester Devolution Board’s public health strategy said: ‘In Trafford and Oldham negotiations are underway with supermarkets to offer health checks in store and advertise them over tannoys so people who may not otherwise want to visit their doctor can access the service there and then.’

It added: ‘In areas with high Black Minority Ethnic (BME) populations getting support from community leaders is very important and the service may work together with the local Council of Mosques and other places of worship or community groups in order to encourage people to get a health check.’

Wendy Meredith, director of public health for Bolton Council and chair of the Greater Manchester Public Health Group, said: ‘In Greater Manchester we have big ideas to improve health and we are working on a big ambitious plan to make sure we deliver.

‘The health checks programme is an important part of the plan because it will make a real difference quickly.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • This is a customer announcement - please get a free Health Check in this store - which the GP should have actually done it for you by now, and you will get ten sugary drinks for free. Every little helps.

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  • This is not just any health check, it's and M&S health check.
    Your BP is a lidl high- see your GP.

    Funds must be abundant in Manchester with all week opening , health checks in shops I wonder how ordinary GPs are feeling, funded or non-funded?

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  • All well and good but if outcomes don't improve (as they likely won't) I want these people to lose their jobs.

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  • absolute and utter crap

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  • This is so funny I wet myself laughing!
    Must be special cakes at the CCG meetings to think up this crap.

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  • This comment has been moderated

  • But they can offer Aldi opening instead of just part of the day.

    By the way, has anyone else noticed how the health check service spec says you must inform pts of risks as well as benefits of health checks, yet the leaflets they provide for us to give to pts inviting them in for them say nothing at all about any possible harms.

    Health checks in current format are a terrible waste of resources on the healthy low risk people.

    I would actually prefer them to be taken out of GP land and put into supermarkets, mosques, etc because I think they might just possibly do some people some good in that context. But I'd like to see the trial data from the pilots first before committing to this strategy nationwide.

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  • Anonymous | GP Partner | 13 July 2015 11:55pm

    Have you considered it's impact on general practice? bp151/89 - you must see your doctor. Immediately.

    We already get plethora of unfunded and not agreed referrals from self appointed heath groups. Diabetes UK being one of them (have you had their 10 years risk referral?). Do we really need to clog up the system with what is essentially a public health matter?

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  • Why not skip out the actual health check bit and just set up loudspeakers around the entire country saying:
    "Please see your GP now."

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  • A perfect example of "evidence blindness".

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  • Vinci Ho

    Mmmmm, good!
    How does it work out for 'buy one get one free' or 'three for price of two'?

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