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New pharmacy service launches

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A new, potentially lifesaving, service is coming to Lincolnshire, providing patients with a scientifically calculated risk of suffering stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years.

Lincolnshire Co-op will be working with pioneers in accessible healthcare, PocDoc, to provide comprehensive heart health checks in 48 pharmacies across the local area.

A pilot of the scheme this summer saw tests provided to 500 people locally, giving them an insight into how healthy their heart is.

Findings revealed that 29% of patients had high cholesterol, and 62% had a high BMI score. The tests also consider various other risk factors, like age and ethnicity.

This data combines to give the patient a QRISK3 score, which is a validated measurement that allows patients to understand the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the next 10 years.

During the pilot, tests were offered at various local events, including the Lincolnshire Show and at a celebration for wellbeing walks in Baumber, near Horncastle.

Of those tested, 6% (30 patients) were given a high QRISK3 score.

An estimated 90,000 individuals across Lincolnshire have undiagnosed cardiovascular disease – 24% of everyone over 40 years old.

However, only 20% of those eligible for the over 40s NHS health check have had it, demonstrating the need for a more accessible and convenient service.

100% of those who participated in the pilot said it was more convenient than going to a GP, and the average time taken from start to finish was just nine minutes.

The introduction of PocDoc’s tests makes Lincolnshire Co-op the first organisation in Lincolnshire to offer this fully comprehensive private service, charging £44.99 per test.

Marc Brooks, Head of Pharmacy at Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “We’re really excited to bring a new service to Lincolnshire and hope that it will promote health and wellbeing locally.

“Whether a patient has a family history of cardiovascular disease, is looking to make some lifestyle choices, or just wants to better understand their body, we hope that the convenience and accessibility of our tests will encourage them to learn more about their heart’s health.”

“As well as having their results clearly explained to them, patients will receive recommendations to help lower their QRISK3 scores and lead a healthier and longer life.”

17.9million people die from cardiovascular disease every year, making it the leading cause of death globally.

Steve Roest, CEO and Co-Founder at PocDoc, said: “There are over 90,000 people in Lincolnshire who have undiagnosed cardiovascular disease, so the need for greater access to screening for the nation’s biggest killer has never been greater.

“We’re so excited to be launching PocDoc’s Healthy Heart Check in under 10 minutes with Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacy, which represents communities across the county. Start the new year with a Health Check available in your community today.”

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