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Boots to launch £19.99 diabetes screening pilot in seven stores


Boots to launch £19.99 diabetes screening pilot in seven stores

Boots has announced plans to pilot a private diabetes screening service in three cities with a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

The multiple announced yesterday (March 14) that the pilot, which launches in May, will run from seven stores across Manchester, London and Birmingham, and may expand to more branches “if there is demand from patients”. The company has told Pharmacy Network News the service will cost £19.99.

The service will offer LumiraDx’s HbA1c diagnostic tests of finger-prick blood samples to patients who book an appointment online. Patients will be asked a series of questions to determine whether the service is suitable for them. Test results take up to seven minutes, and if a result indicates possible type 2 diabetes patients “will be advised to discuss their result with their GP”.

Boots is calling for greater data sharing between community pharmacies and the NHS via patient records, describing diabetes as “a particularly suitable area” where this could benefit patients.

The multiple said its private service could provide a template for an NHS-commissioned service, adding that it “welcomes conversations with national and local service commissioners”.

Boots managing director Seb James said: “There are currently around 850,000 people living with undiagnosed diabetes and we want to help address that. As well as having community pharmacies like Boots perform screening tests, there could be an expanded role for diabetes management in community pharmacy.”

He said that pharmacy staff could “support with checks” when patients come to collect their medicines and then relay information back to GPs via the patient record, adding that this “could be really powerful”.

Outlining Boots’ vision for harnessing patient data, Mr James commented: “Just as we can advise our customers which skincare product might be suitable for them – patient care should be personalised and seamless, offering complete continuity between hospital, GPs and the local pharmacy.

“Not only would this take critical strain out of the NHS system, but it would also crucially make it easier for patients to get access to the care and services they need. One way to help facilitate this is the better sharing of patient data between community pharmacy and the NHS. With patient consent, better data sharing could transform the way healthcare services are delivered.”

The company also provided an update on its pilot partnership with Our Future Health across 10 stores, whereby over 10,000 Advantage Card holders have volunteered to join a research programme, provide “secure access to their health records” and attend an appointment where a blood sample is taken “plus some physical measurements including their blood pressure”.

Describing Our Future Health as a “project that aims to create one of the most detailed pictures ever of people’s health to help transform the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases,” Boots said a further 10 stores are being added to the partnership this month, with “up to 70” to be included by the end of the year.

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