DEARNE Valley residents are among the first in the country to receive free hepatitis C tests.
The move is aimed at combating the deadly virus which if untreated can lead to liver disease and liver cancer.
GPS in the Dearne Valley have teamed up with NHS Doncaster and national charity The Hepatitis C Trust for the £116,000 “groundbreaking” project funded by the Department of Health.
Charles Gore, chief executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “This service really can mean the difference between life and death.
“Too many people are developing life-threatening liver disease because they are being diagnosed too late.”
Between 250,000 and 466,000 people currently have hepatitis C in the UK.
“Hepatitis is a solvable problem in the UK, we just need to make sure the people who have it are tested and diagnosed,” added Mr Gore.
“Offering testing in community pharmacy is a perfect route to achieving this.”
Tests are now available at the following pharmacies where pharmacists can also provide advice about the virus:
McGills Pharmacy, 106 Warmsworth Road, Balby, Weldricks Pharmacy, 44 Church Street, Conisbrough, Weldricks, 5 York Building, Edlington Lane, Edlington and Weldricks Pharmacy, The Martinwells Centre, Edlington.