The NHS in Gloucestershire is urging people aged 40 and over to get 2024 off to a healthy start by dropping in at a community location for a blood pressure check.
One Gloucestershire’s Information Bus and the Outreach Vaccination and Health Team will be out and about from Saturday 13 January to Friday 19 January at locations across the county.
The latest outreach initiative builds on visits to other locations in Gloucestershire last autumn.
People can drop-in for a blood pressure check and a chat with members of the team about how to make positive changes to their health or wellbeing and get further support if needed.
Dr Graham Mennie, local GP and Clinical Lead and Chair of the Circulatory Clinical Programme Group at NHS Gloucestershire, said: “High blood pressure is a major cause of heart attacks and stroke.
"Around one in three adults have high blood pressure, but many don’t realise it because it often doesn’t have any symptoms until it’s too late.
"That’s why it’s so important to take the time to find out your numbers and start making healthy lifestyle changes or taking medicines if you need them to help bring your blood pressure down.”
Oonagh Wilson, Clinical Lead, Community Outreach Vaccination and Health Team at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “January is traditionally the time of year when people commit to healthy resolutions, like losing weight or doing more exercise.
"Having a simple health check and being aware of key stats like your blood pressure is a good first step in thinking about your health and wellbeing and making changes to help prevent things like heart attacks and strokes.
"Our fantastic health team will be out and about in the community all week, offering simple health checks, including blood pressure, and chatting to people about simple changes they can make to their lifestyle, such as stopping smoking, improving their diet or increasing exercise.”
Last year the Community Outreach team gave more than 750 BP checks at drop-in health check events, with around 40 people referred to their GP for further support.
One of those people, Rebecca, had only dropped in to get her spring COVID booster, but took up the offer of a blood pressure check: “My blood pressure results were high, so I was referred to my GP who carried out further tests and identified an enlarged heart as well as poor kidney function and a number of infections.
"I’m now on medication to help control my blood pressure and heart condition.
"It’s amazing what a community event can lead to, I’m so grateful to the team who offered me the check, if I hadn’t taken up the offer I wouldn’t know about my heart and kidney issues.”
Community drop-in dates for Know Your Numbers Week
Saturday 13 January 10am-3pm
Cheltenham High Street (outside M&S, GL50 1JZ)
Monday 15 January 10am-3pm
The Cross, Gloucester (outside HSBC, GL1 2AP)
Tuesday 16 January 10am-3pm
Bishop’s Cleeve Library (Tobyfield Road, GL52 8NN)
Wednesday 17 January 10am-3pm
Gloucester Cathedral (GL1 2LX)
Thursday 18 January 10am-3pm
Tesco Superstore, Lydney (High St, GL15 5DN)
Friday 19 January 10am-3pm
Hester’s Way, Cheltenham (outside the shops on Edinburgh Place GL51 7SF)