Boots is the equivalent in the UK of retail drug stores here in the US and they imagealready offer additional options that we do not see in our drug store chains, such as dentistry services.  This plan would call for patients to go to their nearest Boots store medical center where nurses would administer the drugs.  This article also said that Boots is in secret talks about taking over part of the NHS’s ‘phlebotomy’ service.  One of the selling points here is that there won’t be the high exposure to infection, and that might be true initially, but as more consumers were treated that would change. 

Boots said they feel they would be more profitable if the could dedicate one floor in their stores for medical services.  Later the idea came across that this decision should be up to the patient to decide whether or not they prefer a traditional visit or imagewant to have their chemo done at a retail location.  The Boots chain also states that with all their locations, access would be easier for patients. 

Now are we going to see something along this line suggested in the US?  Is chemotherapy a treatment that just any nurse can administer?  There are different types and what happens in case of an emergency, allergic reaction?  It makes one wonder what next will be moved to the retail level and perhaps are some items as such just best left alone? 

Cancer patients will receive chemotherapy at their local branch of Boots as part of a revolutionary shake-up of the NHS.

Hospital bosses have been in secret talks with the chemists’ chain about expanding its High Street operations to include walk-in treatment for cancer.

Last night Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the aim was to deliver ‘a service tailored to an individual’s need’.

The extraordinary proposal comes just days after Mr Lansley caused a storm by announcing radical reforms which will lead to 24,000 NHS management staff being made redundant and GPs being given control of buying services from 2013.

A key, and controversial, part of the shake-up is to allow ‘any willing provider’ to treat patients ‘provided that they deliver high-quality standards of care’.

NHS reform: Cancer sufferers 'to be given chemotherapy at Boots branches' | Mail Online


  1. Barbara,
    What an extraordinarily biased perspective. I think you're confusing efficient Private Provision with Free at point-of-need for the NHS Consumer. If you're presuming that all of the NHS provision is better than service from for-profit providers, you don't understand the UK health market. For example, I took a Flu Vaccine from Boots the Chemist in November 2010. Cost £12.50 (about $20) for a walk-in appointment. Consultation, jab, 5-minute seated, all done in 20 minutes and back to work. The equivalent from my local FP would be 1 hour+ waiting room, reading last month's National Geographical, assuming I can hit the appointment-line 08:00 a.m. to get an appointment to suit. Typically a take-it or leave-it choice of date/time and capped to 2 weeks from this today.

    Introduce competition to the supply of Health Services, and pretty soon we'll drive-up standards and drive-down costs.


  2. We have the flu shots and all of that here too and no problem with all of that as I recommend it too, but administering chemo therapy is a question on whether not this can be done at this level and I’m guessing my oncologists who read here will chime in.

    Minute Clinics and Walgreens do a fine job with such and I have written about them a lot and they use EHRs from eClinical Works and export all to HealthVault and Google.

  3. Barbara,
    But that's my point. Any Private Healthcare provider can move into new treatments, properly staffed, scrutinized & measured. You seem against more open Private Provision.

    If we give a Private Provider the license to open Chemotherapy Treatment clinics (and many other treatments), specialize and offer better service for more efficient price who's the loser? That inefficient expensive NHS Hospital who must improve that Healthcare service and price. Competition can be a great stimulus.

  4. If giving chemotherapy at a Minute Clinic type environment is the future of "quality," with the use of poorly trained and poorly supervised but somehow "licensed" physician assistants, then God help us.

    I hope that the people in Great Britain can realize that to become an oncologist in the USA one has to have gone through 4 years of college studying a rigorous premed program, then 4 years of medical school, then 3 years of a residency in internal medicine, then 2-3 years in a medical oncology or medical oncology+hematology fellowship. Licensed PAs do 4 years of college and 2 years of training in a community college setting.

    Some who have never gone to college may argue that price and competition brought on by these poorly trained practitioners is the way of the future, but this will only result in increased morbidity and mortality as quality diminishes and errors increase.


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