The BHF project will test a number of innovative community approaches to increase accessibility to blood pressure testing in the community. It will also demonstrate that responsibility can be shared effectively and safely between clinical and non-clinical partners whilst raising awareness of blood pressure and empowering self-care in the community. The aim is to undertake a minimum of 5000 new blood pressure checks per year.
There are a number of approaches being tested across Cheshire and Merseyside and a brief summary of each of these is outlined below.
- Cheshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services will be introducing a blood pressure check, advice and signposting as part of their 'Safe and Well' checks. Both areas will begin BP measurements from 2nd January 2018. To date 45 staff members have been trained. Picture of Merseyside FRS staff receiving training.
- Warrington Digital Technology. A state of the art touch screen health kiosk is being used at various community venues/workplaces. Kiosks will measure blood pressure and detect a person's heart age.One Kiosk has been in place since 4th Oct and 408 people have used it.
- 120 Healthy Living Pharmacies will be trained to take blood pressure measurements. Training will commence on 28th November and will go live 2nd January 2018.
- A digital conversational 'tool' to engage people, encourage participation in blood pressure testing and promote the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. This is currently at the procurement stage with digital development due to start in January 2018.
A key step forward that will assist with all above approaches has been the development of the C&M primary care BP guideline for health professionals and a wallet-sized record card to be issued to the public. Developed in consultation with local clinicians and lay networks (BHF-affiliated 'Heart Voices' network) the primary care guideline sets out, and will enable the piloting of a new aspirational C&M pre-general practice community blood pressure pathway with community partners including community pharmacies playing key roles in the pre-clinical detection and signposting for high blood pressure.
The record card will be given to the members of the public who have had a blood pressure checked at one of the community settings. The wallet sized 'z-card' provides space for recording their blood pressure reading, details what action to take and provides lifestyle advice on keeping a healthy blood pressure.
'Kick Off Meeting'
Representatives for the C&M BHF project steering group attended a 'Kick off' meeting in London recently to meet with other sites to share learning, successes, challenges and the delivery models.