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Cardiovascular System: Screening

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to introduce vascular health checks as referred to on page 35 of his Department’s document High Quality Care for All, Cm. 7432; if he will publish the projected number of people (a) being offered and (b) accepting vascular screening checks in each of the next five years; what funding he plans to provide centrally in support of the programme in each of the next five years; what contractual mechanisms he plans to use to encourage (i) GPs, (ii) pharmacies and (iii) community clinics to offer vascular health checks; and if he will make a statement. (219367)

At full implementation, there will be 3 million invitations nationally for vascular checks. Assuming 75 per cent. uptake of invitations, this would lead to an estimated 2.2 million actual checks carried out. Existing data demonstrates that approximately 1.1 million checks are already done each year, leaving 1.1 million additional checks being performed each year. The programme will begin roll-out from 2009-10 and will be at full implementation by 2012.

Cost estimates of the programme can be found in the Technical Consultation. The cost estimates are based on scenarios fed into the economic evaluation model and should not be taken as final estimates of the cost of the policy. The final costs will depend on the delivery route for the programme and roll-out plans. These are being developed via engagement with stakeholders during the summer and autumn. We expect to carry out further modelling to support the choice of delivery and roll-out plans.

Implementing the proposals in the final report of the NHS Next Stage Review, “High Quality Care for All”, is core business for the national health service. The NHS budget for England for 2008-09 is £96 billion and will rise to £110 billion by 2010-11. The proposals will be funded from within that settlement. Some proposals require central funding to ensure effective implementation. Central funding of £150 million in 2009-10 and £400 million in 2010-11 has been made available for this purpose.

The overall cost of the vascular checks programme is currently estimated to be from £180 million to £243 million per annum at full implementation.

There is a range of contractual mechanisms available and decisions on which will be most suitable will be taken on the basis of the discussions with the NHS and other stakeholders that are currently taking place.