Millions missing out on health checks as PCTs fail to meet targets

Freedom of Information data revealed

Millions of over 40s are missing out on health checks for life-threatening conditions such as heart disease as Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) fail to meet their targets for an NHS programme, according to Freedom of Information data revealed today.

GP magazine has found that two-thirds of PCTs in England did not provide enough NHS health checks in 2011/12 under a Government programme which aims to screen 15 million people aged 40 to 74 for risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stroke by 2018.

PCTs were given three years to begin rolling out the scheme before its launch this year.

GP’s Freedom of Information request, to which 118 trusts responded, also shows that 21% of PCTs admitted they will fail the mandatory Department of Health targets set for 2012/13.

The publication says that unless provision and uptake improve, nine million patients are likely to miss out on the health checks.

The investigation also uncovered significant regional variation between PCTs, with three not providing a single check in 2011/12, and another providing just four.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly said checks were not prioritised ‘owing to other pressures’.

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