A national health screening programme is to provide NHS patients with early warning of some of the country's biggest killer diseases, according to the Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown will declare the government's intention to set up the first national screening programme of its kind in the world, which will be designed to spot the early signs of heart problems, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and provide the sort of wellbeing tests generally available only to private patients.
In his first major speech on health since becoming Prime Minister last year, Mr Brown will call for a transformation of the NHS into a "personal and preventative health service".
Speaking to an audience of health professionals in London, he 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."
The Prime Minister will say that, in its 60th anniversary year, the renewal of the NHS is the government's highest priority.
"It (the NHS) 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."
"Sounds great, but what about the patients who don’t attend screening, who don’t want responsibility for their health? THAT’S why the police and the army WILL get a pay rise above inflation" - Name and address supplied
"So, what's new? And just what does GB think that Practice nurses have been doing since the new contract in 1990 if we have not already been pro-active with health education, MOT's, & screening patients. Has my career in General practice been a total waste of time?" - T Smith, Thetford, Norfolk
"Sounds like a great idea, but who is going to do it? Primary care is drowning in a sea of QOF but I feel that the government will add these health screens to the QOF programme" - Name and address supplied
"Funny, I thought practice nurses were aready doing this sort of monitoring" - Name and address supplied