For patients who are on our hypertension register we often send text message requests for blood pressure readings and similar. We understand that receiving text messages may be frustrating at times, but it is important to understand why we need this information, and the intention of this section is to help you understand this:
Why do you need blood pressure readings?
To ensure your blood pressure readings are in target range and that your condition and any prescribed medications you may take are managed safely and effectively.
The exact target range will vary for everyone depending on age and medical history amongst other factors.
When do we need blood pressure readings?
We need to show that once in a 12-month period your blood pressure is in target range but often we ask for 6 monthly checks to ensure everything is running along okay.
Why have I received a text in April when I only sent my readings in March?
The 12-month period in Question 2 begins every April and runs to the end of March. Therefore, every April we begin our blood pressure data gathering from scratch.
Why do you ask for home readings and what if I don’t have a machine?
National guidance encourages home readings as an effective way of assessing blood pressure and is more likely an accurate reflection of your levels across a given time period rather than an isolated reading.
We strongly encourage hypertension patients to have their own machine to facilitate optimal management of their condition but understand this is not always possible.
Where this is not possible, we have our reception machine that you are welcome to come in and use.
I have a home machine but how many readings do you want?
Generally, we ask for twice daily readings (morning and evening) over at least one week.
How do I send in my readings?
You can either drop them in to reception or email them to [email protected]
I have already sent readings but still received a text for more, why is this?
Two main reasons are most likely:
1) Your readings are waiting to be processed – this is done regularly but inevitably there will be times of delay depending on clinical pressures and staff availability.
2) Your readings are out of range, and you are either under, or have been asked, to seek a review.
Why do I need a blood test?
Hypertension patients often required to have an annual blood test.
The exact nature of this will likely vary from person to person depending on various factors but ultimately this helps us ensure we are prescribing medicines safely and that there are no underlying concerns.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Hypertension is a long-term condition that in many cases is controlled with medications. However, diet and lifestyle factors play a key role in optimal blood pressure management and, in some cases, can avoid the need for medications in the first place.
Areas to consider include:
Diet – Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding excess salt intake.
Smoking – Stopping smoking altogether is of huge benefit to your health.
Alcohol – Excess alcohol intake over time can increase blood pressure and staying within recommended limits is advised.
Caffeine – Drinking too much coffee, tea, cola, or other caffeine rich drinks can also increase your blood pressure. Cutting down or switching to decaf is likely to have a positive impact.
Exercise – Regular exercise helps keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition.
Weight – Being overweight is hard work for your heart, losing weight will help your body and can lower blood pressure.
Please see some useful links below regarding hypertension diet and lifestyle modifications: