Over the last five months, health and care professionals in Barnsley have come together to deliver around 70 blood pressure check sessions in convenient locations across our borough.
With our new ‘How’s Thi Ticker?’ campaign, Barnsley Council’s Public Health Team, Area Teams, GPs and pharmacies have been out in communities, encouraging those most at risk of high blood pressure to get tested.
Across the sessions, the team has delivered more than 1,550 blood pressure checks for local residents. 62% of people checked did not have a previous diagnosis of high blood pressure.
Of those checked at the sessions, 32% were referred to their local pharmacy and nearly 100 people (6%) were advised to contact their GP as they were at risk of high blood pressure.
Most people do not have symptoms from high blood pressure. However, if high blood pressure is not diagnosed and treated, it can lead to serious problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, problems with your sight and vascular dementia.
Anyone over the age of 40 is advised to get their blood pressure tested regularly.
If you do have high blood pressure, there are simple things you can do to bring your numbers down, including cutting down on alcohol, stopping smoking, being more active and eating a healthy diet that’s low in salt.
Councillor Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “In Barnsley, we want everyone to able to enjoy life in good physical and mental health. As part of this ambition, it is great to see Barnsley Council and the NHS working together to help more people get blood pressure checks in their communities.
“By going out to local people, I’m delighted to see many residents taking up the offer, learning more about blood pressure and finding out their numbers for the first time. Getting a blood pressure check is quick, easy and could save your life – so I would encourage anyone who has not been tested recently to speak to their GP or visit their local pharmacy.”
Dr Ceryl Harwood, Consultant in Public Health and Chair of the Barnsley Heart Health Alliance, said: “Many people often do not know they have high blood pressure as they have no symptoms and may not have been tested. Identifying and treating people with high blood pressure is an important way to keep our community healthy.
“In Barnsley, rates of heart disease and risk factors for ill health are higher than in other places, so getting your blood pressure checked is important.
“Measuring blood pressure is quick and painless, and there are several local pharmacies in Barnsley now offering free tests. Look out for the ‘How’s Thi Ticker?’ sticker in the windows of the pharmacies taking part.”
The team continues to identify new locations to run easy-to-access sessions across Barnsley to reach those most in need.
Previous sessions have been held in local churches, libraries, community centres and at events, as well as dedicated sessions targeting staff working for local businesses.
If you are a local business that wants to run a session for your staff, please email KayeMann3@barnsley.gov.uk.
Further information about upcoming blood pressure check sessions will be shared on Barnsley Council’s social media channels.
If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, please visit your local pharmacy or GP.