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Health: Finance

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost of offering free universal health check ups for everyone over 40 years of age starting from April 2009, as announced by the Prime Minister on 23 September; what the expected take-up rate is; and on what that estimate is based. (225951)

The free universal check up for those aged over 40, to which the Prime Minister referred on 23 September, is the vascular checks programme. This will put in place an integrated, systematic population-wide vascular risk assessment and management programme for those between the ages of 40 and 74. The programme will assess people's risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

The total annual cost at full implementation (including interventions to manage the risk of vascular disease) was estimated to be in the region of £250 million in the first phase of the modelling. This is in addition to what is currently being spent on vascular checks type activity in many primary care trusts. The estimate is based on detailed economic modelling work that underpins the vascular checks programme, on which we have recently consulted. We are reviewing our modelling and analysis in the light of this.

The expected take-up rate of the vascular checks programme we have used in the economic modelling is 75 per cent., based on the rate achieved in the national breast screening programme.