Tesco puts vital health information on Oldham shopping lists

Date published: 12 July 2022

People across Greater Manchester are being urged to seek life-changing health information during their weekly shop, as a new survey suggests many may be missing out on free and accessible support via their local pharmacies.

Commissioned by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and Tesco, a YouGov survey reveals just 7 per cent of people in the North West have turned to their local pharmacy for advice and information on lowering their risk of serious health conditions including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. 

Now shoppers at the stores, including Oldham Huddersfield Road Extra, Oldham Chadderton Superstore and the Farnworth Superstore, are set to benefit, as the charities have joined forces with Tesco to deliver specialist training that will help Tesco pharmacy teams provide more information and support as to how people can help lower their risk of these serious conditions through small changes to their day-to-day routine.

This could include advice on stopping smoking and helping people to manage their weight.

Underlining the need for the new initiative, in the North West around 68 per cent of adults are living with overweight or obesity, which is above the England average, and 427,900 people are living with type 2 diabetes. 

The number of people diagnosed with cancer each year is also higher than average4, as is those living with heart and circulatory diseases – around 950,000 adults. 

BHF, Cancer Research UK and Diabetes UK say that supporting people to make healthy changes and seek referrals for concerning symptoms could “save thousands of lives” every year from some of the UK’s most prevalent and serious health conditions.  

In fact, across Britain, of those who had visited a pharmacist for health-related advice or checks - 43 per cent said talking to a pharmacist had eased their concerns around wasting their GP’s time.   

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: “With thousands of individuals and families across the region affected by these devastating conditions, it’s clear from our survey results that pharmacists are an untapped resource for many local communities.  

“In the UK around 4 in 10 cancers, many heart and circulatory diseases and up to 5 in 10 cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed.

"That’s why, by teaming up with Tesco to create this world-class training programme, we want to harness the positive power pharmacy services have to help save and improve lives – all with the incredible convenience of being able to tick the weekly shop off the list at the same time.” 

The survey also found only 3 per cent of people in the North West had visited their pharmacist for a blood pressure check in the last 12 months, despite an estimated 4.8 million people in the UK living with undiagnosed high blood pressure.

Tesco and the health charity partners hope that shoppers take advantage of the convenience of having their local pharmacist in-store for support such as this.  

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of those across Britain 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 per cent) identified not having to book an appointment as a benefit of using a pharmacy for information and advice about a health-related concern.   

Yasin Tahir, Tesco Pharmacy Manager for the North West, 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 per cent of people said was a benefit of visiting a pharmacy for information or advice about a health-related concern. 

“As part of our role in supporting community health, we are encouraging customers to shop for affordable, healthy and sustainable food.

"Now, we want to encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources and support available in Tesco pharmacies to help people live healthier lives.

"So, if you’re shopping at Tesco, go to the pharmacy counter and one of our pharmacy colleagues wearing a ‘Let’s Talk’ badge can help you.” 

To find your local Tesco Pharmacy, just click here

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