Commission more pharmacy blood pressure services
The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has called for more blood pressure services to be commissioned through community pharmacy.
With more than one in four adults in the UK affected by high blood pressure, which costs the NHS £2.1 billion each year, the CCA said community pharmacy was ideally placed to find more people with the condition.
Their call follows a one-week study of 5,220 pharmacies from seven of the largest national multiple pharmacy chains. It found that pharmacies recorded 221,091 interactions with people about their blood pressure.
Of the 30,169 blood pressure measurements that were taken, one in three readings were categorised as pre-high. Over 82% of pharmacies that took part in the study had blood pressure monitors on sale to allow patients to self-test at home.
“This audit shows how community pharmacies are already helping to improve the cardiovascular health of the people and patients they serve,” said CCA chief executive Malcolm Harrison.
“It is particularly encouraging that thousands of people with high or pre-high blood pressure have been discovered and referred onwards appropriately.
“This illustrates how community pharmacies are well placed to support the health secretary’s drive to prevent ill-health and improve care.
“However, a more robust plan for commissioning these essential checks would enable community pharmacies to do more to improve patients lives and save the NHS money.
“That is why we are calling for more blood pressure services to be commissioned through community pharmacy, as either standalone services or via NHS Health Checks.
“With the new GP contract, and the establishment of primary care networks, there is now the opportunity for community pharmacies to work with GP practices to collaboratively support patients’ easy access to blood pressure measurement services via their local pharmacy.”
Picture: Maica (iStock)
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