Hundreds of thousands of people will be able to test their blood pressure at home with new monitors, NHS England has announced.
The devices are being made available to 220,000 people who have been diagnosed with uncontrolled high blood pressure and who could benefit from regular checks. The action could prevent 2200 heart attacks and almost 3,300 strokes over five years. More than 65,000 blood pressure monitors have already been delivered to patients and are similar to those used in GP practices.
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‘It’s vital that people with high blood pressure keep track of their levels, so they can report any significant changes that could indicate a potentially deadly stroke or heart attack, and this simple but lifesaving innovation offers people efficient and convenient care,’ said Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and National Medical Director of Primary Care for the NHS.
‘By using these monitors, and reporting the readings to local teams, patients are able to quickly and easily update GP teams with a regular snapshot of their blood pressure health. These simple checks will help us to save lives.’
Patients wrap the small machine around their upper arm to measure their blood pressure reading and send the reading to their GP to review by telephone, email or through a digital remote monitoring platform. The rollout supports the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions to prevent up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases over the next 10 years.
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‘Getting these monitors into the homes of patients that need them is a really important step – we want people to feel empowered to monitor their own health and to understand their own conditions better,’ said Dr Shahed Ahmad, National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.
‘With thousands of monitors already being sent around the country, this initiative will provide GPs with more data than ever to deliver first-rate care.’