Boots to profit from services you SHOULD get for FREE at your GP

Pharmacy giant Boots has been expanding the number of paid-for services customers should be able to get free with their local GP, the Express reports.

In select stores the chain offers 'mole scanning' to check for skin cancer, and a sore throat test is more widely available.

The firm is now trialling a health coach in nine branches for customers with type 2 diabetes.

The service aims to help people understand their condition and support lifestyle changes, as well as offering medication reminders and information.

But some critics are concerned people could be exploited amid the struggling NHS.

Pensioners urged to fight funding cuts which could see pharmacies close

Pensioners are being urged to join the fight against proposed funding cuts to community pharmacies, the Stoke Sentinel reports.

The North Staffs Pensioners' Convention says older people will be among those worst hit by the changes, which could see a third of chemists in North Staffordshire close down.

Under the proposals, NHS funding for pharmacies could be slashed by £170 million. And medicines could be sent directly to patients from a central hub.

But critics say the plans would simply put more pressure on other parts of the health service, while putting patient safety at risk.

Police appeal after morphine stolen from car in Southport

Merseyside Police is appealing for the public to be cautious after prescription medication was stolen in Southport, the Southport Visiter reports.

The medication was taken from a white Ford Zetec car sometime between 1.20pm and 1.50pm today (Monday May 9) from a car on Park Road.

The medication comprises 150 x 60mg morphine tablets in three boxes labelled MST Continus.

Officers are warning people that taking any medication which hasn’t been prescribed for them can be dangerous.

Sharp rise in number of hay fever treatments sold in Lincolnshire

The number of hay fever sufferers has boomed during this week's sunny weather, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

Lincolnshire Co-op reported a huge rise in the number of people who bought hay fever and allergy treatments as temperatures soared to 25 degrees.

Head of pharmacy Alastair Farquhar said: "As a big rural county we do have quite high levels of hay fever sufferers and we also have quite high rates of asthma as well.

"This last week we've seen a sharp rise in people going into pharmacies asking for treatments for hay fever symptoms.”

Doctors wary as pharmacies cash in on minor check-ups and treatments

Pharmacists talk of convenience, while doctors warn it could be a slippery slope: Boots has quietly slipped into a space previously occupied by GPs, offering skin cancer check-ups and sore-throat testing, sparking debate over what the NHS can and should do and whether this is a new and damaging encroachment by the private sector, The Guardian reports.

For the past three months, 17 Boots stores have been offering a mole-scanning service to customers concerned they might have malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, which is diagnosed in more than 13,000 people every year. It costs £35 per mole.

Sore-throat testing and treatment has been available in London and Leicestershire for 18 months.

Boots says the consultation is free; but if the customer wants a swab to find out whether they have “strep A” – a streptococcusbacterial infection that can be treated by antibiotics – it will cost £7.50.

They can then take the prescription to the GP or pay privately.