Residents in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale at risk of developing Hypertension (High blood pressure) will be able to check their own blood pressure on a daily basis thanks to hundreds of monitoring machines being provided to practices by the local Clinical Commissioning Group.
The new Blood Pressure Monitoring @ Home service allows patients to measure and share their blood pressure readings with their GP from their home. A blood pressure test is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low and can provide a vital warning sign of more serious health issues.
In England, there are over eight million people diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and home blood pressure monitoring has been identified as a priority for cardiovascular disease (CVD) management during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
Blood Pressure Monitoring @ Home forms one part of a range of initiatives being developed by NHS@home to provide better connected, more personalised care in people’s homes including care homes, supported by technology where appropriate.
NHS HMR CCG is distributing over 700 monitors to patients via their local GP practice who will contact suitable patients if they are eligible to receive a monitor based on their clinical records.
There are many benefits of using Blood Pressure Monitoring @ Home including, reducing the incidence of clinical events such as death, heart attack or stroke, over five years; it saves patients time as they may have previously needed to visit their GP or pharmacy to do this; it also saves GP time by shifting care from GPs to other members of the multidisciplinary team and it is cost effective.
To measure their blood pressure, patients wrap the small machine around their upper arm to measure their blood pressure reading and they can then send the reading to their GP to review by telephone, email, or through a digital remote monitoring platform. Patients will be required to do this daily. The blood pressure readings will then be monitored and reviewed by each GP practice and patients will be contacted if a follow up appointment is needed.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and is given as two figures. The ideal blood pressure is around 120/80.
Dr Chris Duffy, Chair of NHS HMR CCG and local GP said: “home monitoring offers a way for people to take control of their health and feel confident about knowing their numbers.
“Knowing your blood pressure and keeping an eye on changes is so important as high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses. Once you know your numbers you can get support to bring your blood pressure under control and prevent these diseases.”
Since October 2020, over 22,000 blood pressure monitors have been delivered nationally so that patients can record their blood pressure and send their readings to their GP to review. As part of this programme a 120 blood pressure monitors are being distributed to community services and 700 to Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale GP practices.
You can find out more about blood pressure here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blood-pressure-test/ and NHS at Home here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhs-at-home/