Know Your Numbers! Week goes online for 2020
This year’s Know Your Numbers! Week was a little different to usual, and we got the nation checking their blood pressure at home
Know Your Numbers! Week encourages all adults in the UK to find out their blood pressure numbers. With free blood pressure checks in public places not possible this year, our annual campaign went virtual. It was a first for all involved and we’re very pleased to let you know that it was a great success.
Individuals and health organisations spread our simple message among their friends, followers and communities: YOU are in control. By buying or borrowing a home blood pressure monitor, you can Know Your Numbers! at home and take control of your health.
Thank you to all who took part, we couldn’t have done it without you.
We called for home monitors on prescription
Price is still a barrier for many people being able to access a home blood pressure monitor, so we called for home monitors to be made available on prescription to those most vulnerable in society. We wrote to Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock and eagerly await his response.
Our Chairman Professor Graham MacGregor CBE said: “As an individual, having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure. This is why we are calling for home monitors to be available to those most in need on prescription, especially at a time when appointments with GPs and nurses are restricted, which may prolong getting your blood pressure checked”.
We ran a poll on twitter which showed 89.7% of responders agreed that home monitors should be made available on prescription.
We made headlines with our message
Our campaign featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, Express and The Metro, People’s Friend, Nursing Today and top online media outlets, as well as a brief appearance on Sky News and local radio stations.
We had tremendous support online
Our campaign was very popular on social media, trending on twitter for the fourth year in a row with the hashtag #KnowYourNumbers, and the tweets were seen over 92,000 times. We ran a twitter poll which showed that 77.8% were encouraged to check their blood pressure at the end of Know Your Numbers! Week.
We had online support from individuals, our ‘Pressure Partners’, health professionals, GP surgeries, pharmacies, gyms, care homes, local councils, libraries and construction organisations to name a few. Plus, support from NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Trusts, Non-Governmental Organisations and charities including the British Heart Foundation, the British and Irish Hypertension Society, Heart UK, NHS, NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Public Health England and from leading researchers.
They all helped to spread the message, encouraging home blood pressure monitoring and sharing our resources.
Our new home monitoring resources went down a storm
We created a collection of home monitoring resources which we made available in our new home monitoring hub and sent to those who signed up to support the campaign. We received lots of great feedback on our resources which included a guide to checking your blood pressure at home, a home monitoring record card to record your blood pressure numbers on, and our video explaining how to measure your blood pressure and what the numbers mean.
Why the campaign is so important
Our recent survey of UK adults showed that:
- two thirds (66%) said that blood pressure is not a concern for them
- half (48%) of those diagnosed with high blood pressure preferred not to say if it was under control
- less than one in 5 (17%) of those who own a blood pressure monitor use it once a month
- 42% of those who don’t own a monitor would rather a health professional check it.
One in three people now have high blood pressure, including young adults. Given that home monitoring is strongly backed up by the evidence for preventing illness, our campaign is clearly much needed.
Making a difference
We were sent the following thank you message which sums up the difference the campaign makes.
Dear Blood Pressure UK,
Thank you all for helping the nation to manage their blood pressure.
Due to your campaign, I have dusted off my blood pressure machine, taken my pressure
this morning, and will continue to do so for a week and monthly thereafter.
Without watching your video, I would not have known to take an average
reading. Your explanation of the readings was perfect, and I can now be more proactive and knowledgeable about my health.
I feel confident to measure my own blood pressure and have sent the reading via email to my surgery, as they are asking patients like myself (on medication for blood pressure) to purchase their own blood pressure machine and advise them of a reading every 6 months.