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Cardiovascular System: Ethnic Groups

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department is taking to increase accessibility to the vascular risk assessment and management programme for those from South Asian communities; (260853)

(2) if he will review the eligibility age range for the vascular risk assessment and management programme for those of South Asian origin at risk of type 2 diabetes; and if he will make a statement.

The vascular checks programme to which my hon. Friend refers offers a real opportunity to make significant inroads in tackling health inequalities, including these relating to ethnicity. The checks themselves are suitable for delivery in a number of settings including general practice, but are equally suitable for pharmacy and other community settings, to help improve access to the checks by those who are less likely to see their general practitioner.

The approach taken by the programme, which primary care trusts (PCTs) are being asked to start rolling out in 2009-10, is based on economic modelling undertaken by the Department to help ensure the most clinically effective and cost effective format. This is the service PCTs will have additional funding for from April 2009. All PCTs will wish to consider how to achieve the best coverage in terms of access and take up for their population, including commissioning the most effective provision for those communities at higher risk of vascular disease, such as South Asians.