• Public health campaign to increase awareness of the risks of high blood pressure

      Donohoe, Rachael T.; Chamberlain, Douglas; Edwards, Melanie; Khengar, Rajeshree H.; Smith, Sarah-Jane; Mohammed, Daryl (2012-08)
      Abstract published with permission. The traditional role of the ambulance service as an emergency medical provider has evolved in recent times, with an emerging role being the promotion of public health. The current study explores this concept by evaluating one event in the ‘know your blood pressure’ (KYBP) campaign, conducted across Greater London by the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS) in April 2010. The event allowed members of the public to have blood pressure (BP) measurements and to receive advice on the health risks of high BP including stroke. Attendees with BP ≥ 140/90 were referred to their general practitioners (GPs).A subsequent telephone survey was conducted to assess campaign effectiveness. The event was attended by 2 274 people, 23% of whom had a high BP measurement. Overall 625 individuals participated in the telephone survey, over half of whom were referred for further medical attention. More than half of these individuals (56%) contacted their GP's surgery as advised. A number of individuals were either prescribed antihypertensive medication for the first time or were subsequently put on a higher dose or an alternative antihypertensive agent. An increase in knowledge of the risks of high BP was also reported. The positive findings demonstrate that ambulance services can have a role in promoting public health.