Tackling high blood pressure in pharmacy

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Tackling high blood pressure in pharmacy

Develop local and national strategies to benefit from the contribution pharmacy can make to tackling high blood pressure, Pharmacy Voice urges in a new report.

Tackling High Blood Pressure through Community Pharmacy, developed by Pharmacy Voice with the support of Public Health England, looks at how community pharmacy can enhance its role in preventing, detecting and managing hypertension.

It highlights examples of pharmacies that have put successful initiatives in place that readers can adopt within their own organisations or communities, such as setting a target of speaking to one member of the public about heart health every hour.

It also sets out a number of recommendations aimed at maximising pharmacy’s contribution, including:

  • Launch a long-term, coordinated blood pressure awareness campaign across the UK community pharmacy network
  • STP leads, local commissioners and primary care providers should integrate community pharmacy based blood pressure testing and diagnosis into disease prevention and management strategies
  • All community pharmacies should be equipped with a validated blood pressure monitor, and have staff trained to use them
  • Promote and support commissioning of NHS Health Checks from community pharmacy
  • Improve coordination between general practice and community pharmacy to support people taking antihypertensive medicines, and allow pharmacy teams to share data with GPs and other healthcare providers via an integrated patient records system.

Elizabeth Wade, Pharmacy Voice director of Policy, said: "Tackling high blood pressure is a national public health priority in England, and community pharmacy is ideally placed to help address the problem. This report outlines some important ways the sector can work with public health teams, other primary care providers and their community partners to help people maintain healthy lifestyles and better control their blood pressure.

"The twelve recommendations included in the report are ambitious but practical proposals for how we could maximise the community pharmacy offering in tackling high blood pressure. We hope that they will promote both debate and, more importantly, action within the sector and from national and local partners as we work together to meet this challenge."

Dr Matt Kearney, national clinical director for cardiovascular disease prevention at NHS England, commented: “I am encouraged by the ambition shown in this report, which demonstrates the full scope of both the public health and clinical roles of community pharmacists, and the extended role they and their teams could play in tackling high blood pressure.  

"As we strive to make community pharmacy ever more integrated with the wider NHS, I look forward to seeing the recommendations from this report implemented, and to exploring even more ideas on how the sector can maximise its contribution to cardiovascular disease prevention, and to population health and wellbeing.”

 

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