According to a recent survey commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, and Tesco, 9% of adults in Britain have turned to their local pharmacy for advice and information on lowering their risk of serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The finding suggests that many people could be missing out on opportunities to access free advice via their local pharmacies that could help them make improvements to their health, Tesco noted.
The BHF, Cancer Research UK, and Diabetes UK have been working with Tesco to deliver specialist training to Tesco pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues to support their conversation with the public.
The training will help them support more people in lowering the risk posed by these serious conditions through small changes to their day-to-day routine.
Paul Pilkington, head of pharmacy at Tesco said, "Our Tesco pharmacy colleagues can provide information, resources and support on ways to help reduce your risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart and circulatory disease.
"They are available for a private and confidential chat in our pharmacy consultation room, something 15% of people said was a benefit of visiting a pharmacy for information and/or advice about a health-related concern."
The survey also unveiled that 43% of the respondents who visited a pharmacist for health-related advice or checks said that talking to a pharmacist eased their concerns around wasting their GP’s time.
Elsewhere, 24% of those who had visited a pharmacist for health-related advice or checks found it easier to speak to someone in a pharmacy than in other healthcare settings, while more than half (53%) identified not having to book an appointment as a benefit of using a pharmacy for information and advice about a health-related concern.
Leading health charities believe that supporting people to make lifestyle changes and seek referrals for concerning symptoms could 'save thousands of lives' every year from some of the UK’s most prevalent and serious diseases.
Elsewhere, the retailer recently registered over two thousand defibrillators in its stores, complementing its overall health offering.
Health Issues In The UK
More than 7.6 million people in the UK are living with heart and circulatory diseases, while 4.9 million have diabetes – 90% of which are cases of type 2 diabetes – and it is estimated that almost 3 million people are living with cancer, according to data from 2020.
Around four in 10 cases of cancer, many heart and circulatory diseases and up to five in 10 cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed, Tesco noted.
Dan Howarth, head of Care at Diabetes UK, said on behalf of the charities, "We’re proud to be working together with Tesco to help deliver this world-class training to Tesco pharmacists and pharmacy colleagues. Thousands of lives could be saved every year through people making positive changes that lower their risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart and circulatory diseases.
"Far more people could be taking advantage of the advice and support available to them from their Tesco pharmacy whilst they do their weekly shop, this includes tips and information on stopping smoking and weight management services."