Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team think that government plans for people aged 40 to 74 to be given key health checks are a good idea in principle. According to health secretary, Alan Johnson, the national programme of health checks to identify vulnerability to vascular diseases including stroke, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease aims to save 2,000 lives a year. The programme follows the Prime Minister’s announcement in January of his ambitions to extend the availability of early ‘predict and prevent’ check-ups to give people earlier information about their health, support lifestyle changes and earlier interventions.
As a specialist healthcare PR and lobbying company, with pharmacy client interests, PRimage is aware that pharmacy bodies recently lobbied for a national pharmacy-based screening programme. Watch this space for further news and views on solutions that community pharmacy could provide on out of hours healthcare and easily accessible healthcare advice. The DoH are due to publish its Pharmacy White Paper ‘Building on Strengths, Delivering the Future’ later this week, which Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team will report and comment on!
We understand that the government estimates there will be three million risk assessments offered – and over a third of the population fall into the over 40′s age group eligible for the health screening programme.
The government’splans have been welcomed by various healthcare organisations, including the British Heart Foundation – but Judy and the PRimage are particularly interested in the reaction from the British Medical Association to the announcement: It seems that the BMA are concerned about the workload pressure this programme will put on GPs and what they say is ‘an already overstretched general practice’, claiming that for an average practice there will be screening appointments needed for two thousand patients.