Prince William has suggested giving out a free pint in exchange for attending a check-up to encourage reluctant men to look after their health.
The Duke of Cambridge appeared to be only half joking when he put forward the idea to help tackle a problem with men who sometimes dismiss changes in their body until it is too late.
He said the free pint idea “could go down very badly, but it might be quite good”.
His comment came in the grounds of London’s Royal Marsden Hospital when he toured the Man Van, a mobile clinic providing free health checks to men, especially black men who have a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer than other ethnic groups.
William asked what the symptoms of prostate cancer were, after admitting he did not know.
When told changes in toilet habits were one factor, he said: “It’s tricky when it’s so subtle.”
He told Fionnuala McCarthy, an advanced nurse practitioner: “I have an idea that could go down very badly, but it might be quite good – you could offer a free pint.
“I think guys having a pint while you’re having your blood test, that would be a great way of doing it.”
Ms McCarthy’s colleague Dr Masood Moghul, a clinical research fellow who is collecting data from the men seen, said maybe they could look for funding for a coffee machine.
But William replied: “You’re going to have to think a bit imaginatively to get guys in here. It’s a kind of thing they’ll do if there’s a fun thing that goes with it, not too serious.”
The Man Van mobile clinic is visiting workplaces and community hubs and is focused on men of working age who often have worse prostate cancer outcomes than older men, and black men, who have roughly double the risk of developing prostate cancer.
A range of examinations are offered from blood pressure tests to a blood test to check prostate-specific antigen levels which, if high, may indicate that further investigation is required.
The pilot programme will examine whether this care model can improve diagnosis and survival of men in these high-risk groups. If successful, the approach could be rolled out across the NHS.