When did you last check your blood pressure? 

Content originally from Mid & South Essex HCP 

When did you last check your blood pressure? 

Know Your Numbers! week is a national campaign to raise awareness about the importance of checking your blood pressure. If you’re one of the eight million people in England with diagnosed high blood pressure, make sure you’re regularly checking yours – at least once a year – as regular monitoring and clinical management with medication and lifestyle changes significantly reduces your risk of stroke and heart attack. 
You can get your blood pressure checked at several places. From October 2021 every NHS pharmacy in England will be able to provide the lifesaving checks to people aged 40 or over. You can also get it checked at an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74, at home or at your local GP surgery. 

Did you know that..?
1 in 2 strokes and heart attacks are the result of high blood pressure 
1 in 3 adults in the UK have high blood pressure 
1 in 2 adults with high blood pressure don’t know they have it or aren’t receiving treatment
6 million people in the UK have high blood pressure and don’t know it 

The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure tested. ​It’s recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every five years so any potential problems can be detected early. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s important to have your blood pressure tested more regularly, at least once a year.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home

Home blood pressure monitoring is an effective and inexpensive way to keep blood pressure under control and the evidence behind it continues to get stronger. It gives you a way to take control of your health, feel confident and take the pressure off the NHS at the same time, as there’s no need to visit your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist in person. It puts you in the driver’s seat, and it really can save lives. Many GP practices are now offering monitors to those most at risk. In the last year, 4,500 monitors have been issued to support patients to monitor their blood pressure at Home. We are also working with local hospitals so that more people can benefit from home blood pressure monitoring. 70 GP practices across mid and south Essex now have surgery pods installed, allowing patients to measure their own blood pressure at any time during surgery opening times.

To mark this week, we’re proud to share with you the next in our My Health Matters video series. 

Dawn Sargent, Practice Nurse in the Southend East Primary Care Network talks through the importance of monitoring blood pressure, the benefits of doing this at home, and demonstrates how to take readings accurately and effectively. A lady taking her blood pressure at home
Click here to watch the video

It is estimated that regular blood pressure monitoring at home prevents up to 500 heart attacks and almost 750 strokes over five years across a population of 50,000 patients. We now have over 16,000 patients recorded as monitoring their blood pressure at home across mid and south Essex, and so we are well on our way to meeting the benefits outlined in the national research.

Recording results
Blood pressure readings can be recorded in a paper-based diary or into the Whzan app. The Whzan app is free for patients and enables the practice staff to access and monitor the recorded results through the Whzan secure portal. This can be used for patients provided with a BP monitor or utilising their own personal device. Speak to your GP or Practice Nurse to find out more.