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sister lindySister Lindy Paton (left) with staff from Caledonian
University checking a visitor's blood pressure


Progress Report from HBPF Research Nurse, Susan Inch, 2005


The vision of the High Blood Pressure Foundation is to raise public awareness and achieve greater understanding of high blood pressure. This is a major part of my role and over the last year my colleagues and I have been involved in a variety of awareness raising events.

 

 It is recognised that men are generally reluctant to attend their GP and as a result they often miss out on simple checks, which can influence their future health. Blood pressure is an excellent example of a simple check, which can be taken almost anywhere giving an indication of whether or not further investigation is warranted. In an effort to reach some of these hard to reach individuals we found ourselves checking blood pressures in several unusual venues this year.

 

  We returned to the Princes Mall shopping centre, in Edinburgh in February, we also attended Health promotion days for staff at a secondary school in Falkirk, a local Job Centre in Edinburgh and a Community Centre.

 

We also visited two of the busiest betting shops in Edinburgh where we met a number of people who had not been to their GP for a considerable time. Several people being advised to make appointments with their practice nurse for a further blood pressure check.

 

 Edinburgh Airport was another extremely successful venue. We offered blood pressure checks and gave lifestyle advice to both airport staff and travellers. The travellers had their blood pressures taken after checking in for their flights and before going through to the departure lounge. This is recognised as the least stressful point in their journey.

 

The idea of taking health checks into the community and engaging with the public in an environment of their choosing is exactly the type of intervention that the government is promoting in the drive to improve the nations’ health.  We have been delighted with the response from the public at these events, many of whom are totally unaware of the dangers of high blood pressure or the risk factors associated with it.  In addition I have visited several local schools in an effort to deliver this important message to sixth year pupils.

 

The majority of my time is spent in the community at the three GP practices with which the department is linked, namely Restalrig Park Medical Practice, Leithmount and St Triduanas. In all three practices I see patients with hypertension for regular review and identify patients who may be willing to participate in the research studies being undertaken from the Cardiovascular Risk Clinic at the Western General Hospital.

 

 

Susan Inch