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Self-service blood pressure machine is set for surgery
A NEW self-service blood pressure machine is expected to free up GPs’ time at Kennington Health Centre.
Practice managers say the £275,000 machine – installed a couple of weeks ago – will save the need for a GP appointment.
It is aimed at people who need take their blood pressure regularly and is the latest to be bought for a county practice, funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group that has replaced the former primary care trust.
Patients slip their arm in the machine and then get a slip of printed results which they give to reception for their file.
If a patient’s reading is high, they are contacted within 24 hours and an appointment will be arranged.
Practice manager Dave Dixon said: “Patients can book an appointment and can be waiting two weeks just for a nurse or GP to take their blood pressure.
“By using the self service machine it allows patients to conveniently take their blood pressure so we can pick up high blood pressure early and do something about it.”
Patients welcomed the development.
Patrick Quinn, 73 said: “It is a good idea as it would save me a lot of time doing it myself.”
Shaun Bayliss, 52 said: “If it is all linked together and part and parcel of the surgery it is definitely a good idea.”
Lorraine Waknell, 52 said: “It is a good idea and I would use it but it depends on what you are there for.”
It will be available from 4.30pm to 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, 2pm to 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 6.30pm on Fridays.
The “silent killer” of high blood pressure affects about one in three people in England, although it has no symptoms. Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against artery walls. High pressure puts a strain on arteries and the heart. People with high blood pressure are at greater risk of heart attack or stroke so it is vital to have regular checks.
The NHS recommends adults have their blood pressure checked every five years.
Risk increases with age and other factors include being overweight, having relatives with high blood pressure, being of African or Caribbean descent and having a high intake of alcohol, caffeine and salt.
The NHS urges people to eat more fruit and vegetables, exercise and quit smoking to further cut the risk.
The practice is also advertising the importance of flu jabs ahead of winter and has a new programme for two and three year-olds. Letters have been sent out to patients urging them to book a jab now.
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