80,000 people are now monitoring their blood pressure at home and cutting their risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia across mid and south Essex thanks to the successful BP@home initiative. The scheme, which launched in 2020, supports people at risk to ‘know their numbers’ and keep their blood pressure under control.
This year’s Know Your Numbers Week takes place from 4-10 September 2023. The national campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of blood pressure monitoring and healthy lifestyle change. The theme for this year is ‘Make the time, ease your pressure’.
Getting a blood pressure check is the first step to preventing heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure is a major cause of both these diseases, but usually has no symptoms until it’s too late, which is why it’s known as ‘the silent killer’.
The mid and south Essex BP@home scheme is part of a national programme which aims to prevent up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases over the next ten years by supporting people to self-monitor their blood pressure at home.
As part of the scheme within mid and south Essex over 5,500 have been referred for a medical review, another 3,333 given lifestyle advice and 471 people have been referred to the hospital for further investigation or treatment. Eight cases of atrial fibrillation and 2,534 cases of diabetes have been uncovered. National research shows that for every 50,000 patients monitoring their blood pressure at home, we may be able to prevent up to 500 heart attacks and almost 750 strokes over a period of five years.
The University of Essex has undertaken an evaluation of the success of the mid and south Essex BP@home pilot scheme since its launch last year. It found that using home blood pressure monitors gave people a sense of empowerment, safety, and motivation to take ownership of their wellbeing.
The evaluation also suggested that patients who actively monitor their blood pressure may be more engaged in their healthcare, leading to more informed discussions and decision-making together with health professionals. This collaborative approach has the potential to improve patient satisfaction and lead to better health outcomes. For those not monitoring their blood pressure as part of the BP@home scheme, people aged over 40 can get a FREE blood pressure check at their local pharmacy. Blood pressure monitors are also widely available to purchase from community pharmacies