From October, every NHS pharmacy in England will be able to provide blood pressure checks to people aged 40 and above, following a new deal between pharmacies and the NHS.
It is estimated that this new initiative could prevent more than 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks over the next five years, and save around 2,000 lives.
The aim is to detect thousands of people living with cardiovascular disease earlier, helping to prevent over 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases, which is a key objective of the NHS Long Term Plan.
As part of the new contract, local chemists will also help to support NHS smoking cessation services by offering advice and care to smokers who have recently been discharged from hospital. Patients will be able to receive support sessions over a 12-week period with a trained member of the pharmacy team.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director said, ‘It has been an extraordinary year for our pharmacy teams who have continued to ensure millions of people have access to medicines and health advice as well as playing a vital role in delivering the NHS COVID vaccination programme.
‘More high street heart checks for blood pressure will mean more rapid detection of killer conditions and quicker treatment for patients who need it.
‘Pharmacies are in the heart of communities and so they are ideally placed to provide these convenient checks so if you are worried about your health, please do get tested – it could save your life.’
For more information, see the NHS England website