The vision for tackling high blood pressure (BP) in Cheshire & Merseyside (C&M) is that our local communities have the best possible BP, and that C&M achieves the national ambitions for CVD prevention by 2029. The national ambition for high BP is that 80% of high BP is detected and treated to NICE targets by 2029.
Why is it important?
Too many people are still living with undetected and poorly managed high blood pressure (BP), atrial fibrillation (AF) and raised cholesterol
Over 600,00people in C&M are thought to be affected by high BP
Untreated, high BP and other high-risk CVD conditions can lead to serious medical complications such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and dementia
COVID-19 has increased the challenge of tackling CVD in C&M. CVD patients are at higher risk from COVID-19, and the risk is higher still in BAME groups. Many CVD patients are shielding or hesitant to seek medical help during the pandemic, and some NHS services (including NHS Health Checks) are paused, making access to CVD prevention services more difficult.
What are we doing?
Pre-COVID-19: ‘Saving lives: Reducing the pressure’ is the C&M five-year cross-sector strategy (2016) to tackle high blood pressure. You can read the strategy here.
Much progress has since been made by partners across C&M working together. You can read the Saving lives: Reducing the pressure annual report (2019) here.
A Cheshire & Merseyside ‘Happy Hearts’ website with CVD prevention resources for both professionals and members of the public is available to visit here
During COVID-19: Despite the challenges COVID-19 brings, we can still make a big difference. NHS Long Term Plan CVD objectives have been adapted to enable continued progress in the context of our ‘new normal’. To achieve our C&M vision we need to work differently, embracing digital and remote solutions whilst ensuring these do not, in turn, worsen inequalities.
As such, Champs is providing core support to a C&M Health and Care Partnership Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Subgroup, whose aims include:
- Promotion of Health and wellbeing measures to minimise population CVD risk
- Empowering self-management of CVD risk factors at home
- Supporting remote CVD risk management in primary care
- Raising awareness to seek medical review, including for acute CVD symptoms
- Addressing CVD inequalities that COVID-19 may exacerbate
Throughout the pandemic, the C&M CVD prevention programme has been overseen and driven by the C&M CVD Prevention Implementation Steering group, with Governance via the C&M Health and Care Partnership CVD Board’s CVD Prevention Subgroup and the HCP Prevention Board. Group membership spans health, public health, voluntary sector, local authority and academic science organisations and networks.
The CVD Prevention Subgroup has a remit around the ‘ABC’ of CVD prevention (atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and cholesterol), and replaces the earlier C&M BP board.
The Director of Public Health lead for high blood pressure is Dr Sarah McNulty