Around 16,500 people in Telford and Wrekin have undetected high blood pressure and we are trying to find them.
It’s important work. High blood pressure doesn’t usually have any symptoms, so you have to be tested to know that you have it. The consequences of high blood pressure are severe. Half of all strokes and one in five heart attacks are caused by high blood pressure.
So if we want to reduce strokes and heart attacks we need to test people in convenient community locations and their workplaces.
This idea is at the heart of our community blood pressure testing programme.
Blood pressure testing in the community
Two blood pressure advisors, Marion Chilton and Jaz Shandhu, are currently touring Telford and Wrekin taking people’s blood pressure as part of our community blood pressure testing programme.
When they find someone with high blood pressure they give advice and loan them a monitor to help people to continue checking blood pressure at home.
They also take the time to explain what the results mean, but also what people can do to improve their blood pressure. People have told us how much they appreciate the advice Marian and Jaz have given.
Why this project is a ground-breaking way reduce strokes and heart attacks in Telford and Wrekin
Earlier this month I was in London at Public Health England’s cardiovascular disease prevention conference to highlight what we are doing in Telford.
We know that existing approaches won’t deliver the pace of change we need, that’s why we were there sharing what we know about going out to test people in their own communities.
When people borrow a monitor and test themselves at home they realise that this is about their health and their future.
Testing in the community saves time for nurses and GPs and puts people in control of their own health.
Our ambition is to help people in their communities to understand their risk and take action to reduce and improve it.
The programme motivates people to get checked regularly, increases access to testing and diagnosis. Ultimately it’s about preventing strokes and heart attacks.
Check your blood pressure
We have tested 2,250 people in Telford and Wrekin so far. If you aren’t one of them, then please get tested.
If you would like us to come to your business and test employees. Please get in touch.
If you see Marian or Jaz wearing their red British Heart Foundation t-shirts out in the community then make sure you get your blood pressure checked. They are very friendly! It won’t take long and who knows, it could be potentially lifesaving.
The programme is in place thanks to funding awarded from the British Heart Foundation to Telford & Wrekin Council. Together I believe we can reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes in Telford and Wrekin.
By Ann-Marie McShane
Public Health Nurse