InHIP Community Blood Pressure Checks Project
An innovative Community Blood Pressure Check project has been successfully rolled out over the summer in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin as part of the National Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme( InHIP).
The project builds on existing cardiovascular Disease (CVD) prevention work focused on hypertension where common pathways for detection, diagnosis and treatment are being developed and is supported by the West Midlands Academic Health Sciences Network. The project also supports General Practice by offering blood pressure checks in alternative and informal settings with the aim of identifying previously undiagnosed hypertensive patients.
The project has three aims:
- To narrow the gap in the diagnosis of hypertension between the general population and those living in more deprived circumstances (Core20) those living in rural areas and those from ethnic minority groups.
- Increase population awareness of CVD risk factors and what action can be taken to reduce them.
- Deliver Making Every Contact Count (MECC) interventions to all community contacts (regardless of blood pressure status), and
- Recruit and train volunteers to undertake blood pressure measurement and promote understanding of CVD risk among the target populations.
In Telford and Wrekin, the project is being delivered by Telford and Wrekin Council and in Shropshire by, Shropshire Council and Qube, Oswestry - Community Action. Groups of volunteers have been successfully recruited and trained in both areas by our Project Coordinators: Tina Brasenell for Telford (pictured below at a recent Afro - Caribbean event)and Jo Longetti in Shropshire.
Finding high blood pressures
If a high blood pressure is detected following the check with the volunteer, the resident is offered 7-day monitoring. In Telford and Wrekin if high blood pressure is detected following the check with the volunteer, the resident will be offered 7-day monitoring which will be undertaken by our Project Coordinator (or Healthy Lifestyles Advisor) If the results from the 7 day monitoring still indicate a high blood pressure, then the resident will be provided with a letter and advised to see their G
In Shropshire the resident collects a BP monitor from their General Practice and books a follow-up appointment with the Social Prescriber linked to the practice. The resident then provides their 7-day BP measurements to their social prescriber, who will complete the 7-day average calculation, and advises on next steps.
Project described as a life changing, wakeup call!
Tina Brasenell, our Telford and Wrekin Project Coordinator, recently shared this thought provoking case study which has been widely acknowledged and celebrated locally and by NHS England and the West Midlands Academic Health Sciences colleagues.
At one of our July events, a 28-year-old gent asked for his BP to be taken. His three blood pressure readings were worryingly high: 154/100.154/96 and 152/94 with his pulse being 74, 74 and 71. We spoke at length about his blood pressure, and I gave him the Know your Numbers leaflet with his readings on. As he was going back to Scotland the next day, I suggested he pop into his GP reception as soon as possible, armed with his readings to ask for an appointment to discuss his blood pressure. We exchanged numbers so that he could let me know how he got on.
His GP was brilliant, and he got an appointment that afternoon. He left his GP with an Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor fitted for 24 hours. Two days later his GP called him back to see how the monitoring had gone and the readings were even higher. The gentleman is now on BP medication and is working closely with his GP to get his dosage correct.
Whilst at the GP he was also offered a blood test and a few days later he texted me to say that he also has a high HbA1 ( pre diabetic) and high cholesterol. He is working at making changes to his diet and was so grateful as this was the “wake up call “he needed to improve his lifestyle. He is also now looking to join a local walking group to improve his fitness and lose a little weight.
This demonstrates the acceptability, approachability and high impact of this project acting as a life changer and potentially a life saver both for this young man and for many others. So, do you, your family members and friends know your blood pressure numbers? Please take a look, now. It could save your life, or that of someone you love.]
Above, you can hear Dr Matthew Bird talking all about the importance of Knowing your Numbers on BBC Radio Shropshire.
Blood Pressure UK – Know Your Numbers