I saw first hand the role community pharmacy plays in delivering expert public health services with a free blood pressure check at the House of Commons recently. The event, attended by over 40 MPs and Lords, was organised by leading community pharmacy chain Lloydspharmacy, in partnership with British Heart Foundation, and aimed to raise awareness of the importance of regularly monitoring your blood pressure.
One in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure and many people aren’t aware they have the condition, which means they are increasing the chance of becoming seriously ill if they continue with an unhealthy lifestyle. Often dubbed ‘the silent killer’, high blood pressure can have no symptoms until it has become extremely severe. Left unchecked it can lead to a stroke or heart attack. If left untreated it can also damage other organs such as kidneys and eyes.
People are working harder, longer hours and are living more stressful lives. We know that the public are taking unnecessary risks by failing to get their blood pressure checked and it’s commendable that Lloydspharmacy offers such a vital health screening and lifestyle advisory service. Pharmacists have a significant role to play addressing public health issues in the community. I hope this encourages my constituents to follow suit and take advantage of the health services which are available in their local pharmacy.