Blood Pressure


Learn more about blood pressure and submit your readings to the practice

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and other serious conditions. Most people with high blood pressure don’t experience any symptoms and the only way it is diagnosed is by having your blood pressure measured.

Get more information about what causes high blood pressure and treatment options

For patients who are not diagnosed with hypertension it is recommended you check your blood pressure at least every 5 years. For patients with known hypertension we recommend doing home blood pressure monitoring at least once every 6 to 12 months depending on how well controlled your blood pressure is.

Blood pressure can vary throughout the day and can also be affected by stress and anxiety (which you may experience when you attend the GP surgery).

Please watch the following video to understand more about blood pressure:

For this reason one off blood pressure readings are often not reliable at diagnosing hypertension. It is more important to know what your average blood pressure is by doing several readings over the space of 5-7 days when you are relaxed in your home enviroment.

If your average blood pressure taken during this time is too high treatment may be needed.

Please complete our online form to submit your readings to the practice. We will calculate your average and aim to send you a response within 2 weeks. If you haven’t heard from us by then please get in touch.


Purchasing a Blood Pressure Device

There are many BP monitors to buy online, or in supermarkets or pharmacies. They are usually around £20. There is no need to purchase more expensive models but do ensure that your machine is accredited by the British Hypertension Society. Examples of good BP monitors include:

  • Omron M2 Basic Upper Arm BP Monitor. Around £25
  • Boots Upper Arm BP Monitor. Around £19.99.
  • A and D UA-611 Upper Arm BP Monitor. Around £19.99.

If you have an irregular heartbeat, the home monitors might not work very well. Instead, you would need to have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional.

Please ensure you have the correct sized cuff. If the cuff is too small the machine will give a reading that is higher than it should be.

The practice has a limited stock of blood pressure monitors which we can loan out to patients who don’t have a blood pressure machine. We ask for a £10 deposit which is given back to you once the machine has been returned. Please ask one of our receptionists about this if you would like to loan one of our monitors.


How to check your blood pressure at home

  • Take your blood pressure only when you are resting and feeling relaxed.
  • Sit upright in a chair with your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Your arm should be rested on a table ideally.
  • Put the cuff on your upper arm, with the tube leading down the centre of the arm. You will be able to see a picture of this in the manual. Make sure it fits well, snug to the arm with space to slide two fingertips underneath. Most monitors come with a medium sized cuff, and you might need to buy a separate cuff if it doesn’t fit.
  • Press the start button and continue to relax, without talking. The cuff will inflate and it might feel tight for a few moments. It will then deflate. If it feels too uncomfortable just press the stop button so it deflates quickly.
  • The monitor will show your reading. Take a note of your blood pressure reading and your pulse rate too.
  • It is best to check your blood pressure three times in a row (leaving 1 minute between recordings). You only need to keep a record of the lowest reading you get out of the three.

For patients doing serial home blood pressure monitoring – take readings in the morning and evening at the same time for at least 5 days, ideally for 7 days.

Send us your home blood pressure readings

For most people an ideal average home BP is below 135/85, though recommended limits may be different if you are aged 80 or over or have conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. If your blood pressure is too high an appointment will be arranged to discuss this further. We aim to contact you within 2 weeks of submitting your readings. If you haven’t heard from us by then please get in touch.


Where to get your blood pressure checked

We recommend that you purchase a blood pressure monitor so that you can regularly keep an eye on your blood pressure at home and calcuate an average if the numbers appear to be too high. These are relatively cheap (around £20) and are readily available to buy online or from pharmacies/supermarkets. For one off readings to ‘know your numbers’ you can measure your blood pressure using the machines in Bury Knowle or Barton waiting rooms. Just ask our reception team for more information. Alternatively you can see which pharmacies offer free blood pressure checks:

Find a pharmacy that offers free blood pressure checks

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