Tesco under fire for health scan offer

Tesco has defended offering vouchers for health scans through its Clubcard loyalty scheme arguing that qualified, professional staff advise and undertake the scans.

According to a BBC report, The Society of Radiographers (SOR) wants the promotion stopped, saying it is “inappropriate” for the retailer.

It says the CT scans involve a risk from exposure to radiation which is not made clear to Clubcard customers before they take up the offer.

But Tesco said the firm that provides its service employs qualified staff and explains any risks to customers.

SOR recognises that Lifescan – the firm providing the service for Tesco – is a reputable company operating within radiation regulations.

However, SOR chief executive Richard Evans warned private scans increased the ranks of the “worried well” – people whose scans uncover abnormalities which later turn out to be benign.

Tesco said that Lifescan employed “qualified professional staff to advise on and undertake all scans, providing all customers with a full explanation of the service and any risks involved”.

Lifescan medical director John Giles said low doses of radiation are involved.

“If someone was going to have a heart scan, a low dose lung scan and a colon scan, the total dose which they’d get from that examination would be something in the order of 10 milliseverts, and that’s exactly the same as you would get living in Cornwall for 12 months, just living there,” he said.

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