Next time you're in your local pharmacy or chemist picking up your thing that's too embarrassing for the supermarket, there might be a little something extra on offer. No, the youth behind the till isn't cracking open the hardcore painkillers and selling them for £5 a pop; there's going to be more in the way of rolling personal health checks on offer, particularly those examining the nation's heart health.
English pharmacies are to expand trials offering heart health checks to all comers this year, with chemist staff offering to test blood pressure and cholesterol levels while also looking for the signs of heart irregularities, issuing early warnings to anyone who might be teetering on the brink of the old shooting chest pains of doom. NHS bosses make the remarkable case that such widespread high street screening could prevent as many as 150,000 heart attacks over the next decade, also easing some of the stresses placed on NHS GPs through unnecessary appointments made by people with overactive imaginations.
If it isn't too much of a hassle for the pharmacists, the plan is to have every pharmacy in England offering the miniature heart MOTs by 2022. The NHS's top doctor Professor Stephen Powis said: "Heart disease and strokes dramatically cut short lives, and leave thousands of people disabled every year, so rapid detection of killer conditions through high street heart checks will be a game-changer." [BBC]
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