Next week (16-22 September) is Know Your Numbers! Week, when charity Blood Pressure UK will be encouraging everyone to get a free blood pressure check from one of over 1000 official ‘Pressure Stations’ around the UK.
Untreated high blood pressure is the major risk factor for stroke and heart attack. It is also a risk factor for heart and kidney disease and vascular dementia. However, high blood pressure has no obvious signs or symptoms. The only way to find out if you have the condition is to have a blood pressure check.
Here at Gateway, our Health Trainers have recently added blood pressure checks and monitoring to the range of services they offer to clients.
Danny Dhadda, Health Trainer Manager explains, “we identified a gap in our service delivery, and so applied for – and received – funding for our Health Trainers to receive blood pressure training. They undertook an awareness course, followed by practical assessments, via Birmingham Metropolitan College, which means that they’re now qualified to take people’s blood pressure and understand and explain the results.
“We’ve provided each Health Trainer with their own arm monitor kit and they all now check their clients’ blood pressure on an ongoing basis. It’s great that we’ve been able to give our Health Trainers another tool to enhance their service delivery.”
“Needing help to manage blood pressure is a common reason people are referred to us” says Hana one of our Health Trainers. “So helping people understand what they can do to reduce the problem is a frequent conversation. It can be scary, they know they have this thing that they need to address but they’re not sure how to tackle it. We can help by just explaining some simple steps they can take.” The beauty of the Health Trainer model is that it’s not a one off, the support is ongoing. So if the Health Trainer knows that blood pressure is an issue they will check on progress at the next appointment. If there has not been sufficient change they’ll try a slightly different approach. In the clip Hana explains the sort of conversation she would typically have.
If you have a Health Trainer, they will already have spoken to you about checking and monitoring your blood pressure. If you’d like to find out more about Know Your Numbers! Week and the location of your nearest ‘Pressure Station’, visit the Know Your Numbers! website.