The first of a number of healthcare centres being developed by LloydsPharmacy will see pharmacists use a new online tool to help patients check for early symptoms of cancer.
Two pharmacies in Manchester will host a pilot of the tool, which will see specially trained pharmacists help patients answer a series of questions in a face-to-face consultation as part of the Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation.
The REACT (Risk Estimation for Additional Cancer Testing) questionnaire is designed to identify symptoms that could indicate the presence of cancer. Patients assessed to have a high risk are referred to their GP to help improve early diagnosis of the disease.
Celesio UK, which owns LloydsPharmacy, announced in December 2017 that it was planning to open a number of pharmacy-based healthcare centres across England that would provide services from oncology injections and infusion clinics to testing and screening.
Three contracts have so far been signed to provide extra NHS services, including the scheme in Manchester.
Jill Pritchard, head of pharmacy services at Celesio UK, said spotting cancer early can significantly improve treatment prospects.
“We are hoping that by using our community pharmacy network, we can encourage more people to be tested for cancer and help improve diagnosis rates,” she said.