The NHS is expanding blood pressure checks available in local communities –including barbershops, mosques and at a dominoes club – as part of a major drive to prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Thanks to the learning from the NHS covid vaccination programme, local teams are reaching out into their neighbourhoods to find potential health problems before they become more serious for patients at locations that are most convenient.
The checks in local communities across the country include a mobile blood pressure service in Barnsley called ‘How’s Thi Ticker’ (sic) which travels around local neighbourhoods including to barber shops, supermarkets, and community centres, seeing more than a third of people referred to pharmacists with high blood pressure – freeing up GPs and catching early signs of heart attack and stroke risk.
New funding as part of the primary care access recovery plan will see a further 2.5 million blood pressure checks in community pharmacies, estimated to prevent more than 1,350 cardiovascular events each year – 113 heart attacks and strokes every month.
David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, said: ”With the number of people living with major illnesses including heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions set to grow substantially over the coming years, it has never been more important to put in place preventative measures like easy to access blood pressure checks that can pick up the early signs and risks, with figures showing teams are on track to prevent more than 1,300 heart attacks and strokes this year alone”.
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