A pub health check campaign found more than a quarter of men tested had high blood pressure

Mayberry Pharmacy joined forces with pub chain JD Wetherspoon to offer blood pressure checks to patrons in pubs and bars across south-east Wales. The campaign, which ran at the end of last year, consisted of 10 events and reached more than 800 people, with participants’ ages ranging from 17 to 89.

A staggering 29 per cent of the men who took part displayed signs of high blood pressure. Of these, 12 per cent were found to have severely high blood pressure and the most at-risk group were men between 51 and 65. Women fared slightly better, with 15 per cent of participants showing signs of high blood pressure and none with severely high hypertension. Roughly seven per cent of women had moderately high readings, most of them in the over-65 age group. However, Mayberry also found one in five women under 30 was displaying mild hypertension.

Unique opportunity

The campaign was particularly successful in reaching people who might not otherwise visit their pharmacist or doctor to discuss their health or even be aware of any health risks.

Liz Davies, a retired office worker from Cwmbran, says: ‘I was really surprised to learn I had high blood pressure. To be honest, it’s something I’ve never thought about before. It was good to be able to get my health checked in such an easy way. I’d never go to a pharmacy or a doctor’s surgery myself, but when I saw the pharmacist in the pub I thought, “Why not?” It turned out to be a good decision.’

I’d never go to a pharmacy or a doctor’s surgery myself, but when I saw the pharmacist in the pub I thought, ‘Why not?

Health impact

Paul Mayberry, managing director of Mayberry Pharmacy, welcomed the results of the campaign. The whole purpose of this campaign in partnership with Wetherspoon was to make it easier for people to learn about their health and identify any problems. We know that conditions such as high blood pressure affect thousands of people in Wales, yet very few are aware of the problem or will visit their local pharmacy or GP.

‘By offering these health services in places where people do find it comfortable to be, we are helping save more lives,’ he said.

The success of this campaign has inspired a repeat attempt and discussions are currently taking place between Mayberry Pharmacy and JD Wetherspoon for a new health initiative to launch later in 2014.

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