Shoppers at Tesco can pick up home testing kits for health conditions from thyroid problems to bowel cancer alongside their weekly shop after the supermarket giant struck a first-of-its-kind deal. The grocery chain has sealed a national retail partnership with provider Newfoundland to stock self-diagnostic tests on its website and across more than 500 stores nationwide.
It comes amid mounting pressure on the NHS and record-long waiting times for doctors, with consumer demand growing for at-home self-diagnostic tools. Newfoundland, which was launched during the pandemic to distribute Covid lateral flow tests, will be supplying Tesco with tests for Covid and flu, but also a wider range to spot the symptoms of conditions including iron and vitamin D deficiencies, general kidney health, thyroid function, bowel health and cancer, menopause and male fertility.
The deal with Tesco marks the first time self-diagnostic test kits for widespread health conditions will be available with a major UK retailer.
Newfoundland co-founder Frederick Manduca said: “We want to provide people with the opportunity to take their health into their own hands at an affordable price.
“With long wait times for doctors and hospital appointments and the very high price point of diagnostic lab tests, we’re offering rapid at home tests that arm people with vital knowledge that can alleviate pressure both on the NHS and patients themselves.”
However, Mr Manduca stressed that Newfoundland’s tests are not designed to replace GPs, but to act as an initial screening tool.
He said: “This is an additional tool kit to understand one’s health. It’s not to replace, but to go alongside it.
“With the bowel health screening test, a positive result does not necessarily mean you have cancer, but that it could be an indicator and that it may be worth having a check up.”
Newfoundland said it will be providing additional information on how to correctly use the tests via its app, as well as in leaflets provided in the kits, and also how to read the results. He said that having an initial screening test can help with early detection that can be critical to the treatment of many diseases, such as prostate cancer in particular.
“Having a test that’s easy to do – and accessible as well – would make a huge difference to early detection, which really significantly increases the survival rate of this type of cancer,” he said.
Mr Manduca set up Newfoundland with co-founder Michael Hodnett in 2021 and has already notched up sales of more than £150 million and sold around 91 million tests. It has supplied major groups such as the NHS, online takeaway delivery firm Deliveroo, the Team GB British Olympic team, as well as a number of governments across the world.
How to buy new self-test kits
The tests, which are launching in Tesco shops from Monday (February 27) will be available for between £8 and £12.