Brown pledges more preventative NHS

Gordon Brown promised a more personal and preventative NHS today as a new national health screening programme to provide patients with early warning of some of the biggest killer diseases was announced.

The Prime Minister said on GMTV: "What I want to have is a 21st century, modern health service that people think is rightly personal to your needs, not some service provided by someone else but you can organise it around your needs.

"So if you want a check-up, if you want screening, if you want a preventative vaccine, if you want advice on health and fitness... the health service is there for you, and it is a preventative health service so it is preventing illness as well as dealing with illness."

His remarks came he declared the Government's intention to set up the first national screening programme of its kind in the world, spotting the early signs of heart problems, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and providing the sort of wellbeing tests generally available only to private patients.

Mr Brown was also announcing plans to make key diagnostic procedures such as blood tests, electro-cardiograms (ECGs) and ultrasounds available in local GP surgeries, to help cut waiting times.

In his first major speech on health since becoming Prime Minister last year, Mr Brown will say: "A more personal and preventative service will be one that intervenes earlier, with more information and control put more quickly into the hands of patient and clinician.

"Over time everyone in Britain will have access to the right preventative health check-up...

"There will soon be check-ups on offer to monitor for heart disease, strokes, diabetes and kidney disease - conditions which affect the lives of 6.2 million people, cause 200,000 deaths each year and account for a fifth of all hospital admissions."

In the next few months, Health Secretary Alan Johnson will set out plans to introduce NHS tests to identify vulnerability to a range of heart and circulation problems, Mr Brown will say.

Vascular screening, to be introduced this year or early 2009, will include a series of blood, fat and sugar tests in GP surgeries, alongside questions on age, gender, postcode, family history, height and weight.

Those identified as being at risk will have access to treatment, advice and support to make necessary lifestyle changes to avoid ill-health.

And as many as 1,600 lives could be saved each year by offering men over 65 a simple ultrasound test for early abdominal aortic aneurysm - or "triple A", the weakening of the main artery from heart to abdomen, which kills more than 3,000 men annually.

Early detection of the potentially fatal condition will allow preventative surgery for patients at risk.

Mr Brown will also announce further moves to meet the Government's target of a maximum 18-week waiting time from diagnosis to treatment.

"We will extend the availability of diagnostic procedures in the GP surgery - making blood tests, ECGs and, in some cases, ultrasounds available and on offer not only when you are acutely unwell or if you can pay, but when you want and need them, where you need them, at the local surgery," he will say.

The Prime Minister will say that, in its 60th anniversary year, the renewal of the NHS is the Government's highest priority.

"Amongst global healthcare systems, the NHS is uniquely well-placed to deliver a transformation in the relationship between patients and clinicians," he will say.

"It remains one of the most trusted organisations in British society, its doctors, nurses and staff recognised by everyone as a force for good in our country. This is why renewal of the NHS will be our highest priority.

"Our goal: deeper and wider reform, building on the values, principles and idealism of the NHS to create for the next decade an NHS that is here for all of us but personal to each of us, focused on prevention as much as cure, and strong and confident enough to put real control into the hands of individuals and their clinicians.

"This is a worthy mission for an institution as great and as significant in our lives as the National Health Service and it is a transformation I ask you all to be a part of."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
Sport
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Modern Apprenticeship Assessor

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Scotland's leading train...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Telesales Executive - Cloud Software/SaaS - £37,000 OTE

£25000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you seeking to furth...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Welding, Power Tools and PPE - £45,000 OTE

£25000 - £45000 per annum + car + benefit: h2 Recruit Ltd: A fantastic and uni...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game