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Fewer than half of public aware of pharmacy blood pressure checks, NHS warns

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Fewer than half of public aware of pharmacy blood pressure checks, NHS warns

A 'line-up' of hypertension patients and celebrities (NHSE & DHSC)

NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care have launched a new multimedia campaign urging the public to visit their local pharmacy to have their blood pressure checked, as survey findings indicate fewer than half are aware of the service.

The Get Your Blood Pressure Checked campaign, which launches today (Monday March 11), aims to find the “missing millions” with undiagnosed high blood pressure, the two bodies said, with an estimated 4.2 million people currently unaware that they have the condition.

A survey of 2,109 adults aged 40 and over that was carried out ahead of the campaign found that just seven per cent of respondents were aware that most cases of high blood pressure are asymptomatic, while 44 per cent did not know they could get a free blood pressure check at a pharmacy and 59 per cent did not know that no appointment is needed.

The public campaign features TV pundit Graeme Souness and presenter Gloria Hunniford as well as hypertension patients and a community pharmacist, using police line-up imagery to “demonstrate how any of us could unknowingly be walking around with the condition,” said NHSE and the DHSC.

Pharmacy minister Andrea Leadsom said: “Millions of adults in England unknowingly have high blood pressure, without experiencing any symptoms.

“As part of our Pharmacy First programme, the NHS has expanded its pharmacy offering to include 2.5 million more blood pressure checks within pharmacies. 

“I urge people to go to their local pharmacy today to get their blood pressure checked. It could be a lifesaving trip.”

Nottingham community pharmacist Deepak Bilakhia, who features in the campaign, said: “Campaigns like this are so important because high blood pressure can be a silent killer and really can affect anyone, including those with no symptoms at all.

“Too many people are unaware that pharmacies offer this kind of service without needing to book an appointment. So if you’re 40 and over and haven’t had a check in the last six months, don’t put it off any longer.

“Checking your blood pressure at a local pharmacy is so simple to do, but could save your life.”

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