These days supermarkets sell much more than food. You can get just about anything you need from the bigger stores - well almost. And while we're used to seeing pharmacies in supermarkets, Sainsbury's is taking things a step further by announcing it will offer in-store surgeries for GPs in up to 204 of its branches across the UK.
The move is apparently a response to demand from the store's customers. In a recent survey of the company's in-store pharmacy service, for instance, being able to see a GP in person was the thing most Sainsbury's shoppers said they'd like to see. The store has already trained up its pharmacists to offer nutrition advice, and now it has announced it will offer local GPs use of its consultation rooms free of charge.
So what does this mean for the average shopper? Well if you're so busy you struggle to get to see a GP during normal surgery hours, then combining the weekly grocery shop with a quick check-up or chat with a doctor sounds like a great idea - assuming, that is, that GPs will run their in-store surgeries outside office hours.
It could also help those who have minor health problems and don't want to bother their registered GP, or for people who can't bear sitting around in a doctor's surgery waiting room.
And if others follow Sainsbury's lead it could be a good move for supermarkets too, as many come under frequent fire for not being particularly public health minded by selling cheap alcohol, for instance.
Do you think it's a good idea?