Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK will now be able to test their blood pressure at home, thanks to the national rollout of a life-saving scheme which has been piloted in North Yorkshire.
As part of NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG’s) BP@Home programme, GP practices have been loaning monitors to patients with high blood pressure and those at greatest risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension).
The devices allow patients to check their blood pressure from their own homes and report the results back to their practice, giving GPs the ability to intervene when they spot the early warning signs of heart attack or stroke.
Following the success of the pilot scheme in North Yorkshire and in other NHS ‘trailblazer’ sites, the NHS says blood pressure monitors will now be made available to 220,000 people who have been diagnosed with uncontrolled high blood pressure and who could benefit from regular checks.
NHS North Yorkshire CCG Governing Body Member, Dr Bruce Willoughby, said: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the biggest cause of preventable early mortality and health inequalities in our communities.
“The monitors that have been loaned out allow patients to quickly and easily update their practice teams with information about their blood pressure health in almost real-time, which has then allowed healthcare professionals to take any appropriate action.
“Controlling blood pressure is one of the best ways to improve CVD outcomes and I am in no doubt that these simple checks have not just reduced emergency admissions to our local hospitals but have saved lives.
“I’m delighted the work we’ve already undertaken in North Yorkshire has helped pave the way for a national rollout of this programme.”
More than 65,000 blood pressure monitors have already been delivered to patients across England and are similar to those used in GP practices.
Patients wrap the small machine around their upper arm to measure their blood pressure reading and send the reading to their GP to review by telephone, email or through a digital remote monitoring platform.
The rollout supports the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions to prevent up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases over the next 10 years.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. If you do not have your own home monitor, you can get your blood pressure checked at your local pharmacy or during an NHS Health Check appointment offered to adults in England aged 40-74, at home or at your local GP surgery.
More information about the blood pressure test and home blood pressure monitoring can be found on the NHS website.