Optical practices will provide free health and lifestyle check-ups in a new initiative launched this week.
Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU) said this will be the first time in England that optical practices have delivered preventative health tips, and the services will be free to anyone living or working in the Dudley borough.
NHS Health Checks (such as blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose) smoking cessation, weight management and alcohol screening will be available at the opticians.
Speaking after the launch, Katrina Venerus from the LOCSU, said: “Optical practices and professionals are regularly overlooked as part of the wider NHS workforce. Yet 20 million annual sight tests present an unmissable chance to start healthy conversations.”
Nine optical practices are participating in the scheme and optical staff have undertaken additional specialist training to become accredited Healthy Living Opticians.
The CSU will be looking closely at the results of the pilot to persuade other public health teams in England to roll out the scheme, Venerus said.
“We have the clinical skills, the long-term customer relationships along with community locations and seven-day opening to make significant health interventions as high-street health hubs advising on lifestyles, helping change behaviour and signposting that the Five Year Forward Viewdemands of a preventative approach,” she added.