Professor Umesh Chauhan, Pendle GP and lead GP for improving hypertension, NHS East Lancashire CCG said:
“High blood pressure can increase the risk of a stroke, heart attack and kidney problems. Blood pressure checks are the best way to see if you have high blood pressure, and we welcome any initiative that promotes this. Locally, if an individual is concerned about their blood pressure, or risk of stroke or heart attack they can visit their local pharmacy, many of whom can offer health advice and blood pressure checks. Every GP practice is equipped to provide blood pressure checks and you don’t have to see a GP to have one – practice nurses are able to do this and some have machines in their waiting rooms. The CCG sees the management of high blood pressure – and the prevention of heart disease and strokes as a high priority.
In East Lancashire, GPs follow a Quality Framework which includes the management of hypertension. This is specifically geared up to improving detection of high blood pressure, and increasing opportunistic testing in primary care. This also includes targeting at risk groups, encouraging patients to take the NHS health check and ensuring that all patients with a high blood pressure are monitored”
Dr Malcolm Ridgeway, Clinical Director for Quality , NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:
“In Blackburn with Darwen, we work in partnership with the GP Federation and all of our GP practices follow a Quality and Outcomes Enhanced Service Transformation (QOEST) scheme that specifically includes and aims to ensure that high blood pressure in patients is identified, monitored and treated in line with national guidance. We encourage patients to have an NHS health check which includes blood pressure checks.
Prevention is the best approach and it is well proven that regular exercise, which can include a 10 minute walk a day, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing salt in the diet can help people avoid high blood pressure. We encourage patients, particularly those over the age of 35, to ensure they have had their blood pressure checked at least every 5 years or sooner if you are worried, either at their local pharmacy or their GP practice. It doesn’t take long and could help avoid a heart attack or a stroke.”