Accurate BP testing

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Ambulatory monitoring- what is it?

Ambulatory blood pressure monitors are 24-hour blood pressure monitors that measure a patients blood pressure every 30/ 60 minutes. They are fitted to patients and a patient goes about their usual daily life with the machine taking measurements every 30/ 60 mins.

Why is it the new "gold" standard

Traditionally high blood pressure has been diagnosed in a clinic setting- where a person may suffer from white coat hypertension. This is when someone's blood pressure rises as they see their GP/ in a clinic environment.

Patients will be in their normal surroundings and not in a surgery. This eliminates the possibility of misdiagnosis due to the coat effect and means only patients with hypertension will be treated for hypertension.

How will this be implemented?

The NICE guidelines are in place now. However, nobody expects an overnight change. Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) won't be implemented over a few weeks or months, but it will be over the next year or so. Already in some areas GPs are creating consortia that share ABPM equipment to spread the cost and others are referring patients to a clinic for ABPM.

As the charity for patients with high blood pressure, we'd really like to hear your experiences of the implementation of the new guidelines. Please email us over the coming months with you experiences and any questions you may have.


Home Blood Pressure testing - What machine should I use?

If Ambulatory Blood Pressure Testing is not suitable for a patient, they'll be asked to use a Home Blood Pressure Monitor.

Clinical validation of blood pressure monitors in the UK is done by the British and Irish Hypertension Society

Below are links to clinically validated blood pressure monitors

For home use:

For clinical use:  

How do I measure by blood pressure accurately with a home monitor?

Visit our pages on how to correctly measure your blood pressure at home.

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