A new campaign called Leeds Blood Pressure Wise has been launched to help tackle undiagnosed high blood pressure which affects up to 90,000 people in Leeds.
The campaign is supported by the British Heart Foundation, Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Partnership. It encourages eligible people over 35 to visit participating pharmacies, including Belle Isle Pharmacy, 219 Middleton Road, LS10 3HU, and ask for a free blood pressure check. Anyone who is found to have raised blood pressure will have this followed up by their GP surgery.
Jenny Hargrave, Director of Innovation and Health and Wellbeing at the British Heart Foundation, said:
“High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. With 16 million people diagnosed in the UK, and many more undiagnosed, there is an urgent need to address this growing epidemic through more research and better detection and treatment.
“It is essential that we have more opportunities to test for high blood pressure in alternative places to GP surgeries, especially in areas where people are more likely to be at risk, like in Leeds.
“We are pleased to support the collaborative bid from the council, CCGs and local pharmacies and are hopeful the project will allow more people to be detected.”
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing at Leeds City Council, added:
“Leeds has the ambition to be the best city in the UK for health and wellbeing. We have seen significant improvements in health across the city but our vision of being a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest improve their health the fastest remains the same. This campaign is a great example of how we are linking across the city to achieve this vision.”
Alongside the Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign, the national NHS health check programme provides free health checks for everyone between the ages of 40-74. The checks, offered by GP surgeries, are designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, dementia and diabetes. Eligible people will be sent an invitation for a health check every five years. Alternatively you can request an invitation from your GP surgery.
Dr Bryan Power, GP and Clinical Lead for the Cardiovascular Disease Programme at NHS Leeds CCGs Partnership, said:
“The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked. All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life.”
It is estimated that high blood pressure affects 190,000 people in Leeds, with 90,000 being unaware of their condition. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a silent and potentially deadly condition that significantly increases a person’s chance of a heart attack or stroke. In the UK, high blood pressure is the second biggest risk factor for premature death and disability.
The Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign will last for two years and it is expected that 2,400 blood pressure checks will be completed at the six participating pharmacies.
To find out more about the Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign and which pharmacies are participating visit: www.leedswestccg.nhs.uk/health/services/LBPW