NHS blood pressure checks to be offered in betting shops in England

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NHS England says the reforms will save around £14 million a year by cutting the number of chief executives by almost 170

People in some parts of England could soon be offered blood pressure checks in betting shops as part of an NHS shake-up.

A total of 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) come into force today (1 July), bringing together GPs, hospitals, care services and other local groups.

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Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which previously controlled local health budgets, have been scrapped as part of the reforms.

People in some parts of England could soon be offered blood pressure checks in betting shop (Photo: Adobe)People in some parts of England could soon be offered blood pressure checks in betting shop (Photo: Adobe)
People in some parts of England could soon be offered blood pressure checks in betting shop (Photo: Adobe) | Kurhan - stock.adobe.com

The aim is to improve care for people in each part of the country, including those with multiple conditions who access a range of health and care services.

Some regions have already rolled out new services under the changes, with a GP practice in Stockport going into betting shops to deliver blood pressure checks.

In Coventry and North Warwickshire, a local sports club is offering diabetes and obesity support through GP referrals and by also approaching people with the offer of access to a gym.

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Dedicated mental health staff have also been put in some GP practices to increase support for children and young people, and improve access to local mental health teams.

NHS England said GP teams can develop special interests and access training in specific areas such as eating disorders.

What has the NHS said?

The reforms will save around £14 million a year by reducing the number of chief executives working in the NHS by almost 170, according to the health body.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said: “Integrated care systems have the power to truly transform the way that we care for people up and down the country – not only will the NHS provide care when someone is unwell or has an accident, but alongside our local government partners we must also now play an increasing key role in managing people’s health so that we can catch more killer conditions earlier and save lives.

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“Local areas are already doing this by going out into communities to spot signs and symptoms earlier in places such as sports clubs and betting shops as well as ensuring people can access community support rather than using 999 or going to A&E.

“Through these schemes, we are already making a massive difference to people’s lives.

“The NHS will now build on this success and innovation and deliver care for patients that is fit for the future as well as saving taxpayers millions of pounds each year.”

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said that working a more joined-up way of working will help to deliver better care for patients, and address “deep-rooted disparities in people’s health and wellbeing across England.”

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However, some critics have raised concerns that ICSs, which divide the country into geographical areas of roughly similar-sized populations, are not equal in terms of need and resources.

The Health Foundation, an independent charity, said in June: "The task facing ICSs is not equal.

"Pressures on services and the health of the population vary widely between ICSs - as do the resources available to address them.

"ICSs also look very different in their size, complexity, and other characteristics.

"Variations within the NHS are nothing new, but these differences will shape how ICSs function and their ability to collaborate to improve services."

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