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Pharmacies have carried out 75k blood pressure checks, says NHSE


Pharmacies have carried out 75k blood pressure checks, says NHSE

Just over 75,000 blood pressure checks have been carried out in community pharmacies since the hypertension case-finding service launched last October, NHS England & Improvement has said.

In a blog post published on Tuesday (May 17), chief pharmaceutical officer David Webb and NHSE&I clinical director for cardiovascular disease prevention Dr Shahed Ahmad revealed that over 6,800 pharmacies have signed up to the screening service, carrying out 75,051 blood pressure checks.

The service is open to over-40s who have not previously been diagnosed with hypertension or a related condition and who have not had their blood pressure measured by a healthcare professional in the last six months aa part of regular monitoring.

Mr Webb and Dr Ahmad said they wanted more pharmacies, “specifically those in areas of health deprivation,” to sign up to the service, which forms part of the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and dementia cases over 10 years. 

The announcement was made as part of May Measurement Month, an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact of high blood pressure. It follows a drop in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension during the Covid pandemic, said NHSE&I, with two million fewer people recorded as having the condition in 2021 than in the previous year.

NHSE&I said hypertension case-finding is one of its five priority areas for reducing health inequalities, adding that community pharmacies “are easily accessible for most people, who can drop in without needing to make an appointment at a time convenient to them, or at the request of their GP”.

PSNC services director Alastair Buxton told Pharmacy Network News: “It is great to see that many pharmacy teams are now starting to fully engage with this important service and we expect many more will do so over the next few months as time allows. 

“The service has the potential to make a big difference to the health of individuals and to have an impact on reducing health inequalities within our local communities, with pharmacy teams well placed to play a greater part in tackling CVD, alongside general practice colleagues.”

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