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Lloydspharmacy to offer 3,000 free type 2 diabetes tests in one week

Demand for Lloydspharmacy’s diabetes service went up by 250% in April and May

Lloydspharmacy is hoping to offer free type 2 diabetes tests this week to “at least” 3,000 people, it has announced.

Lloydspharmacy’s 1,400 branches across the UK will offer the tests – which normally cost £10 – for free this week only (June 14-20) to mark Diabetes Week, a campaign run by the charity Diabetes UK.

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk UK part funded Lloydspharmacy’s initiative, the multiple said in a statement last week (June 11).

10-minute test

Patients can book the 10-minute type 2 diabetes test online or by visiting a Lloydspharmacy branch.

They will be invited to attend an appointment with a pharmacist, who will ask them a series of questions to understand if they are likely to develop type 2 diabetes, before taking their blood pressure and blood glucose levels, Lloydspharmacy explains on its website.

Patients might be invited to a second appointment if needed, “for further testing or offered personalised lifestyle advice to help reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes”, according to the multiple.

Demand for service up by 250%

Lloydspharmacy registered a 250% increase in demand for its type 2 diabetes screening service in April and May, compared with the same period last year, it said in last week’s statement.

This suggests that “more people are taking a proactive approach to managing their health post-lockdown”, the multiple said.

Data collected by Lloydspharmacy on its diabetes service between January and April revealed that out of 2,812 people tested, 201 were found to have a high type 2 diabetes risk, a spokesperson told C+D today (June 14).

Anna Ruthven, head of services at McKesson UK – Lloydspharmacy’s parent company – said that it is important that the multiple engages “communities in preventative services that support their health and wellbeing, and our pharmacy teams can help empower people to do this”.

“The timely identification of individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, or in the early stages of the condition, is crucial and interventions like this can really make a difference,” Ms Ruthven added.

Lloydspharmacy has carried out more than 1.5 million type 2 diabetes tests since launching the service in 2003, it said.

In 2019, C+D revealed that Lloydspharmacy would start charging patients for diabetes screening and blood pressure tests but remained committed to offering these services for free for a set time.

Does your pharmacy offer a diabetes screening service?

V K P, Community pharmacist

how about lloyds going further and providing GP access following the free test as well. No point in finding the potential diabetic and front loading the system. The GPs will not be happy with having to address a false postive result which would be seen as a waste of GP time caused by pharmacy. At that point it is C&D's responsibility to assign the blame and shame to Lloyds and not pharmacy generically. When will the free work stop??? 

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

Name me another business that gives so much for free?

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Exactly, and the reason for the community pharmacy funding cuts. If we can offer all these 'free' services, then we're obviously overpaid, (so goes the thinking at the department of health).

Kav Singh, Community pharmacist

Lloyds making a complete d*** of themselves as per usual. PSNC constantly battling funding for services. Nothing should be for free. Theres a base line cost to all activities over and beyond the agreed contract.

Pear Tree, Community pharmacist

Why offer a free service when you are incapable of offering basic dispensing serrvices? Shouldn't Lloyds be addressing their skeletal staffing rather than expensive, nice to offer services?

Mark Boland, Pharmaceutical Adviser

A relatively simple answer:

- the employees will have to fit the service into their current workload. So they absorb the cost, not the employer

- the cost of the test is probably being covered by Novo: entry into primary care without the cost of carrying out a service (pharmacy employees are carrying it out for free)

- a terrible dispensing service has limited consequences when you are protected by control of entry and you are vertically integrated

Remove control of entry and ban vertical integration (and any other anti-competitive practices) and such services would not exist because none of these businesses would exist. Only the most lean and technologically advanced businesses would survive supplying the service that the public demand: quick, convenient and cheap.

I'm not sure why people are so scared of Amazon et al.

Axed Locum, Locum pharmacist

spot on, a perfect characterisation of modern day slave masters - Stretch and extract from the employees, with no fear of reprisals from the paymaster and/or the regulator.

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