Free blood pressure checks during ‘Know your numbers’ week

Published on: Wednesday, 30-March-2016

The iVan is out and about across Knowsley this week offering free blood pressure and lung function checks to help you spot any signs of illness before they develop.

With no need to make an appointment, you can climb on board and have a consultation with a fully qualified medical professional there and then.

With no need to make an appointment, you can climb on board and have a consultation with a fully qualified medical professional there and then.

  • The iVan will be calling at the following locations over the following days:
  • Kirkby Town Centre, on Thursday, 31 March
  • Stockbridge Village, The Croft, Leachcroft, on Friday, 1 April
  • Aldi Car Park, Ravenscourt Centre, Leathers Lane, Halewood, on Monday 4 April

The iVan has become a familiar site in Knowsley offering advice and health checks to help people spot early signs of cancer.

The blood pressure checks are a different service as part of a week long campaign being run by Knowsley Public Health called Know Your Numbers, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of blood pressure. Earlier in the week the bus has stopped at both Prescot and Huyton.

Blood pressure is a measure of your blood as it is pumped around the body. It can be low, normal or high. If the pressure is too high, it’s more likely that you may suffer health problems such as a stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Simple lifestyle changes, including more exercise or stopping smoking, can help reduce blood pressure.

High blood pressure frequently has no symptoms; it’s estimated that around 17,000 people in Knowsley have undiagnosed high blood pressure. So having your blood pressure measured is the only way to find out your blood pressure numbers. It’s a simple process and is quick and painless.

The cause of high blood pressure is unknown but several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:

  • age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases as you get older
  • a family history of high blood pressure (the condition seems to run in families)
  • being of African or Caribbean origin
  • a high amount of salt in your food
  • drinking large amounts of alcohol
  • being overweight or obese
  • a lack of exercise
  • smoking.

IfIf you can’t attend the iVan over the next few days, there are other things you can do:

If you live in Knowsley, and are aged 40-74, you can sign up for a free NHS health check which looks at your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and stroke. The simple check includes taking your blood pressure, measuring your cholesterol by a simple finger-prick test, as well as talking about your family history and your current lifestyle. Ring your GP surgery to make an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with your doctor / practice nurse or some local pharmacies will carry out a blood pressure check.

For more helpful information visit the Stroke Association website, Blood Pressure Association www.bpassoc.org.uk or British Heart Foundation (BHF) www.bhf.org.uk

For local help and support visit the Healthy Knowsley website at https://www.healthyknowsley.co.uk/