Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Postcode lotteries in preventative health care: Not necessarily all bad news

Date:
September 27, 2011
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Postcode lotteries can result in unequal health care -- the area you live in can impact the treatment you receive for cancer treatment, surgery or GP care. In 2009, the UK government introduced "Health Checks," a national public health program with the aim of reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). New research shows that there are geographic differences in the implementation of this public health program.

There is much interest in the unequal health care caused by postcode lotteries. The area you live in can impact the treatment you receive for cancer treatment, surgery or GP care. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health shows that there are also geographic differences in the implementation of public health programs.

In 2009, the government introduced 'Health Checks' a national public health program with the aim of reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This program is open to all 40-74 year olds with no prior history of CVD and aims to assess each person's risk of a cardiovascular event within the next 10 years and provide them with advice and medication if necessary.

Using an example of eight primary care trusts (PCTs) in North West London, researchers examined the amount of money each PCT spent on the program, how they recruited eligible people onto the program, what parameters they tested (including blood glucose levels, blood pressure, weight, alcohol intake, smoking and exercise) and what information and treatment was provided after the examination.

The results showed considerable variation across the PCTs including the amount of money spent per person. However, apart from one PCT, there was a general trend that PCTs responsible for more deprived areas, which traditionally have a higher burden of CVD, spent more per eligible person than PCTs responsible for more affluent areas.

For most PCTs, 'Health Checks' are carried out in GP practices. But flexibility in the scheme meant that the 'Health Checks' could also be carried out at local pharmacies, or at community events to include high-risk individuals who typically do not visit their GPs. This included football stadiums and job centers, to catch middle aged men in manual jobs, and people out of work.

Dr David McCoy from the Public Health Directorate said that, "This study shows both good and bad in the way in the 'Health Checks' Program is implemented. Better coordination and sharing of information between PCTs could help iron out inequalities, reduce costs and PCTs would be able to learn from the experience of others."

Dr McCoy continued, "A more serious problem we found was the lack of a common approach to evaluating the impact of 'Health Checks'. While we can count the number of health checks done, we currently don't know if this has a positive effect on unhealthy behavior or prevents CVD. Also there was no way of knowing whether uptake and impact of the program was the same for all sections of the population. The main point is to ensure that regardless of interpretation of guidelines, 'Health Checks' results in a real reduction in CVD risk."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Clare E M Graley, Katherine F May and David C McCoy email. Postcode Lotteries in Public Health - The NHS Health Checks Programme in North West London. BMC Public Health, 2011, 11:738 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-738

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Postcode lotteries in preventative health care: Not necessarily all bad news." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927211820.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2011, September 27). Postcode lotteries in preventative health care: Not necessarily all bad news. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927211820.htm
BioMed Central. "Postcode lotteries in preventative health care: Not necessarily all bad news." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110927211820.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins