UK supermarket provides health checks while consumers shop

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 6th January 2009

Asda, one of the UK’s largest supermarket operators, is working with the British National Health Service (NHS) to provide in-store health checks to customers.

The in-store clinics have been set-up as a test in one Asda store – in West Bromwich, near Birmingham – in a bid to reduce waiting times at hospitals. The scheme was launched by the Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS trust to help process 38,000 blood tests per month. To attend the clinic customers just need a referral from their doctor. They can then have a blood test before (or after) they shop and the results will be processed and sent to their GP. The success of the trial is pinned on the hope that the trend toward convenience will see consumers want to get more out of their trip to the supermarket.

Reports suggest the scheme has been well received by consumers so far, with Asda contemplating extending the trial to more stores.

The idea has previously been seen in the US, and it is not surprising that Asda – owned by America’s largest retailer Wal-Mart – has decided to trial the concept given it has reportedly had some success in America.