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DH: We'll work with MHF on heart checks

The Department of Health has said it intends to work with the Forum to provide a promised three million vascular checks a year. 

In a new regulatory impact assessment Putting prevention first: vascular checks, risk assessment and management; impact assessment deals specifically with gender issues, the Department says it will be working to ensure that Men's Health Week 2009 includes the vascular checks.

They say they will work with the Forum to ensure that invitations, patient information leaflets and any publicity material take account of the wealth of knowledge regarding health messages, and how these are received by men and how to improve access.

MHF CEO Peter Baker said: 'We looking forward very much to working with the Department on this. The introduction of vascular checks on this scale would be wholly appropriate for Men's Health Week 2009 which will be focusing on the devlivery of services to men.'

The impact assessment points out that 'men are more likely to experience vascular risk and vascular disease approximately ten years earlier than women.' It says: 'There are also slightly higher rates of vascular disease in men than in women. Stroke is commoner in men (10%) than in women (6%) by the age of 75, but more women (11%) who have strokes die from them in comparison with men (8.4%)

They conclude: 'Vascular checks may lower rates of vascular risk and vascular disease for men more quickly than for women.'


The preferred option will see vascular checks for 40-75 year-olds every five years from April 2009 at a cost over the next 20 years of £4,506 million. This is compared to a total saving to the NHS over the same period of £64,315 million.

There are approximately 15 million people in the 40—74 age group. As the programme would operate on a rolling five-year cycle, in any one year up to 20% of the population be invited for an appointment - up to 3 million people. In the model the Department assume that 75% of those offered an appointment will take up the offer.

The checks could be carried out by GPs or by a healthcare assistant or practice nurse at a GP surgery or in community settings. The impact assessment says: 'Discussions have again pointed to the importance of different venues such as football stadiums and the workplace to encourage access to healthcare services by men, and these messages will be reinforced in our guidance.


'A universal roll out of national policy, but with local delivery tailored to population needs, and the use of campaign materials and venues sympathetic to the needs and preferences of men will help to ensure take-up by men so they have the opportunity to benefit from the vascular checks.'

Page created on December 15th, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009