Targeted blood pressure campaign in Wakefield

Rowlands Pharmacy has conducted over 500,000 blood pressure checks on a drop-in basis in over 500 community pharmacies across England, Scotland and Wales since 2007. In addition, over 2,000 blood pressure checks have been carried out at community outreach events at various locations from universities to community centres.

As part of this work to support awareness and management of blood pressure among the local population, Rowlands Pharmacy provided blood pressure checks in local workplaces as part of a four week Blood Pressure Drop-In campaign launched by Wakefield Council in March 2014.

Nearly a third of adults (84,000 people) in Wakefield are estimated to have high blood pressure with around 30,000 people not yet diagnosed. Rowlands Pharmacy approached Wakefield Council and was commissioned along with other local pharmacies to take part by providing free blood pressure tests in the community at over 50 venues. Aimed at people aged 40 or over, the campaign was launched in March 2014 and ran for four weeks.

As part of the campaign, Rowlands Pharmacy visited local businesses to conduct blood pressure checks. Although the Wakefield campaign was targeted towards all people over 40, Rowlands Pharmacy was paid £3 per check, regardless of age or gender. Rowlands Pharmacy identified local businesses to take part in the campaign and these included Next, Morrisons, Wiseman Muller Dairy, Aldi, and Rathbones Bakery distribution centres.

At Next Distribution, 108 employees received a check and 30 of those checked required a referral to their GP for further tests (a 28% referral rate). A further 652 blood pressure checks were carried out on employees at Morrisons, Wiseman Muller Dairy, Aldi, and Rathbones Bakery distribution centres, with a 17% referral rate overall. Referrals for further tests were made by letter. This was pre-printed and the employee’s details were added after the check. People were then asked to take this letter to their GP. Outcomes from the checks were recorded back in branch using the Pharmaoutcomes system.