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Call to extend NHS health checks

Community pharmacy should provide health checks for all working-age adults in order to reverse Britain’s rise in long-term disease, according to a new report from think tank ResPublica, commissioned by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

In the report – Heartbeats on the High Street: how Community Pharmacy can transform Britain’s Health, Wealth and Wellbeing – ResPublica argues that with unprecedented strain on the NHS through rising long-term conditions and a growing population, community pharmacy is a transformative solution for the health and wellbeing of the country and should take a leading role in preventing and managing long-term conditions by extending NHS health checks to the whole adult population.

Commenting on the report, Ian Strachan, NPA chairman, said: “This report sets out a positive, patient-focused and sustainable future for pharmacy, that can not only improve public health, but also save money and precious resources when they are becoming increasingly scarce.  

“Community pharmacies have transformational potential in primary care and public health and are an ideal setting for universal NHS health checks, but this should only be the start.”

Mr Strachan continued by explaining the need for pharmacies to be empowered to provide “wrap-around care before, during and after a health check, actively managing risk and prescribing medicines where appropriate, to reduce pressure on the wider health system.”

The NPA “will be working hard to refine these ideas and to encourage the government to unlock the potential of community pharmacy and deliver on its clinical promise,” he added.

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