A leading Public Health England advisor has called for a major rethink of the universal NHS Health Checks programme – claiming that a more targeted approach may be more cost-effective.
Professor Nick Wareham – director of the MRC epidemiology unit – told Pulse the current programme – which involves inviting everyone aged 40–75 for screening of cardiovascular and other risk factors – may not the best use of resources.
Instead, he urged public health leaders to target those at high-risk individuals as the evidence suggested this was likely be cost-effective.
But the programme has been beset by problems – most recently evaluations showing uptake and coverage is falling well behind projected rates– and another casting doubt on the suitability of the screen for picking up diabetes.
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