Health and beauty giant Alliance Boots may provide NHS care through its chain of high street chemists’ stores.

The retailer is to test nurse-led clinics in its shops, providing services such as travel vaccinations and blood pressure checks, The Times reported.

It is understood that he retailer intends to bid for NHS contracts and could provide a blend of free and paid-for services.

The initiative fits with Government policy to improve access to health services at convenient times. Figures released last week showed that up to one in five patients waits more than two days for an appointment to see a GP.

Alliance Boots health and beauty chief executive Alex Gourlay said the first nurse-led clinics will open next month in stores in Nottingham and Milton Keynes, at a cost of £1m.