From October 2021 everyone over the age of 40 will be able to get a free blood pressure check at their local pharmacy. This comes as the result of a successful pilot programme to test case-finding for hypertension in community pharmacies.
SCW are delighted to have been involved in the development of this potentially life-saving programme. We created the model for the pilot to identify target groups, a comprehensive toolkit to facilitate delivery, and supported the pharmacy teams taking part in the trial. The pilot launched in early 2021.
Cardiovascular disease is often called the silent killer as many people don’t know they have it until they have their blood pressure checked by a health professional. Looking for a way to combat this lack of awareness, NHSEI wanted to test a new model of care.
We were commissioned to support this new approach for risk identification and prevention of cardiovascular disease, using community pharmacies to deliver blood pressure checks. The outputs from this case-finding pilot will be included in Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and the Primary Care Network (PCN) contracts.
The model, developed by SCW, needed to be able to identify people over the age of 40, or at the discretion of the pharmacy people under the age of 40, with high blood pressure who had previously not had a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension or a related condition. It then needed to be able to refer them to general practice to confirm diagnosis and for appropriate management.
We collaborated with the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) Clinical Reference Group (CRG) and the PhIF Decision Making Authority in developing the model of hypertension case-finding and supporting documentation. To give the best chance of success, SCW’s Medicines Optimisation team developed a toolkit for the pharmacy teams which included a user guide and a how-to video. We also worked collaboratively to develop an Excel-based data collection tool that was easy to use in pharmacies.
As a result of the pilot, NHSE is launching the service nationwide from the autumn, with our continued support.