GPs have backed a national NHS campaign by urging patients to get their blood pressure checked at a local pharmacy.
The plea was made this week by the 57 GP practices of Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to coincide with Know Your Numbers Week running from Monday (16 September) to the following Sunday.
Surgeries invited patients to visit www.bloodpressureuk.org to find their nearest pharmacy offering free checks. The campaign recognises that around 30 per cent of the UK population suffers from high blood pressure, which can cause serious illnesses including heart attacks.
The tests, which tell patients if their blood pressure is normal, high or low, can play an important role in reducing harm caused by heart attacks, strokes and other serious health complications resulting from high or low blood pressure.
The checks will be undertaken by fully-qualified staff, with vital follow-up guidance given as necessary. Resources and tips from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on how to keep your heart healthy by reducing your blood cholesterol, changing diet, keeping active, reducing salt intake and maintaining a healthy weight will also be available.
Anyone wanting their blood pressure checked by their GP should call their surgery to make an appointment.
The ideal blood pressure range is below 120 over 80 (120/80mmHg) but most adults in the UK have readings from 120/80mmHg to 140/90mmHg.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Knowing your blood pressure numbers really does count so we’d urge everyone to visit a pharmacy to get their blood pressure levels tested during Know Your Numbers Week.
“An alarming 30 per cent of people in the UK are affected by high blood pressure but most of the time they will not know it. Yet it’s responsible for causing very serious illnesses including heart attacks, which can be fatal.
“Having a blood pressure test can also help people to find out if they have low blood pressure. In general low blood pressure is good news but in some cases it might be triggered by medicines or a long-term illness such as diabetes.”
Heather Simpson, practice manager at Park Medical Practice, Chaddesden, added: “People with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop heart disease and stroke and twice as likely to die from these as people with a normal blood pressure, so these simple checks really are pivotal in helping Southern Derbyshire work together to take action against the disease.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group represents 58 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county established to take on the responsibility of health care for the people of Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, communications officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111