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Healthy Hearts for healthy communities
A new free blood pressure checks programme is launched in west London, a brilliant way to take on heart disease and stroke within the community
This September our CEO, Katharine Jenner, spoke at the launch event for the Healthy Hearts Blood Pressure Project, a new community blood pressure checks service in West London. The programme is being run by Healthy Hearts, a team who run services aiming to prevent cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke.
Katharine explained the work we do, the importance of knowing your blood pressure numbers and Know Your Numbers! Week, our annual campaign offering free blood pressure checks nationwide.
Attendees including pharmacy staff, library staff and local diabetes volunteers were there to see in the new project, and, after practical blood pressure training, were ready to start offering Healthy Hearts Blood Pressure Checks from 18 September – the start of Know Your Numbers! Week. They ran Pressure Stations at an impressive 17 venues, including hospitals, libraries, community centers, shopping centers, a food bank, a mobile van and a citizens advice bureau.
The event follows the new plan released by pharmacy representatives, Pharmacy Voice, this year, setting out how pharmacies can take on a bigger role in tackling high blood pressure, by offering free blood pressure checks in their communities and linking people up to the support they need.
Katharine said: “The Healthy Hearts Blood Pressure Project is a brilliant example of how communities can take action against high blood pressure at a local level. There was genuine enthusiasm at the launch night from the people who have a role in their communities, whether it’s in a library or pharmacy, or volunteering to take care of people with existing illnesses. The team at Healthy Hearts have really embraced the importance of knowing your numbers and the role that local organisations can play in preventing the many diseases caused by high blood pressure.
“At Blood Pressure UK we believe this reflects a shift in the understanding of high blood pressure, as the public health community becomes more aware of the problem and how it can be beaten. It’s exciting to see this progress on the front line and we hope to support many more projects like this around the country.”