Leeds residents urged to be blood pressure wise

A new campaign called Leeds Blood Pressure Wise has been launched to help tackle undiagnosed high blood pressure which affects up to 90,000 people in Leeds (1).

The campaign is supported by the British Heart Foundation, Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) Partnership, it encourages eligible people over 35 to visit participating pharmacies and ask for a free blood pressure check (2). Anyone who is found to have raised blood pressure will have this followed up by their GP surgery.

Jenny Hargrave, Director of Innovation and Health and Wellbeing at the British Heart Foundation, said: “High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease. With 16 million people diagnosed in the UK, and many more undiagnosed, there is an urgent need to address this growing epidemic through more research and better detection and treatment.

“It is essential that we have more opportunities to test for high blood pressure in alternative places to GP surgeries, especially in areas where people are more likely to be at risk, like in Leeds.

“We are pleased to support the collaborative bid from the council, CCGs and local pharmacies and are hopeful the project will allow more people to be detected.”

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing at Leeds City Council, added: “Leeds has the ambition to be the best city in the UK for health and wellbeing. We have seen significant improvements in health across the city but our vision of being a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest improve their health the fastest remains the same. This campaign is a great example of how we are linking across the city to achieve this vision.”

Alongside the Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign, the national NHS health check programme provides free health checks for everyone between the ages of 40-74. The checks, offered by GP surgeries, are designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, dementia and diabetes. Eligible people will be sent an invitation for a health check every five years. Alternatively you can request an invitation from your GP surgery.

Dr Bryan Power, GP and Clinical Lead for the Cardiovascular Disease Programme at NHS Leeds CCGs Partnership, said: “The only way to find out if your blood pressure is high is to have your blood pressure checked. All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life.”

It is estimated that high blood pressure affects 190,000 people in Leeds, with 90,000 being unaware of their condition. (1) High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a silent and potentially deadly condition that significantly increases a person’s chance of a heart attack or stroke. In the UK, high blood pressure is the second biggest risk factor for premature death and disability (3).

The Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign will last for two years and it is expected that 2,400 blood pressure checks will be completed at the six participating pharmacies.

If you would like to know more about the Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign and which pharmacies are participating, please follow the link to the NHS Leeds CCG website, campaigns page: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/campaigns/lbpw


Notes to the Editor

  • As part of the Leeds Blood Pressure Wise campaign, Leeds City Council will also be providing blood pressure checks in the workplace targeting Leeds City Council staff.


(1) Cardiovascular disease data and analysis: guide for health professionals: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/cardiovascular-disease-data-and-analysis-a-guide-for-health-professionals
(2) To be eligible for the free blood pressure check patients must:

  • Be over 35 (NB. We are targeting over 35s but we will not exclude under 35s)
  • Have no long-term health conditions that involve an annual blood pressure check (e.g. heart disease, diabetes)
  • Not be pregnant
  • Not have had a blood pressure check at a GP practice in the last 12 months
  • Not have been diagnosed with high blood pressure
  • The participating pharmacies are:
  • Belle Isle Pharmacy, 219 Middleton Road, LS10 3HU
  • Manor Park Pharmacy, Bellmount Close, Bramley, LS13 2UP
  • Khan Pharmacy, 168 Roundhay Road, LS8 5PZ
  • Oakwood Lane Pharmacy, 2 Amberton Terrace, LS8 3BZ
  • Well Pharmacy, Bramley, 35 Bramley Centre, LS13 2ET
  • Imaan Pharmacy, 262-266 Harehills Lane, Harehills, LS9 7BD

(3) Direct.gov – Health matters: combating high blood pressure

The British Heart Foundation

For over 50 years the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. Their work has been central to the discoveries of vital treatments that are changing the fight against heart disease. But so many people still need their help; from babies born with life-threatening heart problems to the many Mums, Dads and Grandparents who survive a heart attack and endure the daily battles of heart failure. Every pound raised, minute of your time and donation to our shops will help make a difference to people’s lives. For more information, visit bhf.org.uk.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. More than one in four adults in the UK have high blood pressure, although many won’t realise it.

Causes of high blood pressure

It’s not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but certain things can increase your risk.

You’re at an increased risk of high blood pressure if you:

  • are over the age of 65
  • are overweight or obese
  • are of African or Caribbean descent
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • eat too much salt and don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables
  • don’t do enough exercise
  • drink too much alcohol or caffeine
  • smoke
  • don’t get much sleep or have disturbed sleep

Reduce your blood pressure

Making healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high. You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:

  • losing weight if you need to
  • reducing the amount of salt you eat
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet
  • cutting back if you drink too much alcohol
  • cutting down on caffeine
  • stopping smoking

If you would like to more information on high blood pressure, please follow the link to the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership

Since 1 April 2017, the three CCGs (NHS Leeds North CCG, NHS Leeds South and East CCG and NHS Leeds West CCG) have been working together as the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership, with a shared leadership team and joint governance arrangements.

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCGs Partnership. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: [email protected]