Stroke screening service under fire from Hagley doc

Stourbridge News: Dr David Nicholl with a leaflet from Life Line Screening which claims to help prevent strokes Dr David Nicholl with a leaflet from Life Line Screening which claims to help prevent strokes

A COMPANY which offers stroke screening in the Black Country is under fire from a top doctor over its advertising claims.

Life Line Screening offers a range of tests costing £60 each at regular screening sessions around the region which their leaflets claim could help prevent strokes, cardiovascular disease and aneurysm.

However a consultant neurologist from Hagley, who received the company's leaflets through his letter box, says the tests are only worthwhile when patients develop other symptoms.

Dr David Nicholl, from Woodlands Avenue, said: "If people want to reduce their risk of stroke I would suggest that they stop smoking, avoid becoming obese and eat a healthy diet.

"There is just no evidence for these kind of screening tests to the entire population, if there was the NHS would offer it."

Life Line Screening agreed to change its adverts last month after Dr Nicholl, who works at Birmingham's City Hospital, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

After negotiations with the ASA the company agreed to alter its headline to read "Your quick and easy way to avoid a stroke"

A spokesman for Life Line Screening said: "We know we cannot give a 100 per cent guarantee of good future health.

"The tests themselves do not prevent the condition but, rather, the follow up actions of the screening can.

"It is this follow up that can help prevent future health risks."

The ASA says it received a number of complaints about the adverts but closed its investigation after assurances from the company that it would not make absolute claims about the diagnostic capabilities of screening.

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