Blood Pressure

For information on the support we have available for patients around knowing their blood pressure and how we help patients with high or low blood pressure please see the information below.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

What is a blood pressure monitoring?

Blood pressure monitoring is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low.

Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries as it's pumped around your body.

What does Frome Medical Practice offer?

We are encouraging patients to take their blood pressure (BP) at home rather than in the practice, in line with current guidance and to get more consistent readings.

High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your arteries and organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Low blood pressure (hypotension) can lead to faintness and unsteadiness. This can lead to a risk of falls and injuries from falling and so being aware of low blood pressure is also important, particularly as we get older.

If you do not have a home monitor, we have a self check blood pressure station by the Information Desk in the practice, where you can come and check your blood pressure. You can do this in the practice between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and on Saturday morning 9am to 12 noon. We also invite you to drop off a urine sample in a yellow topped tube for screening to check for protein leak in the kidneys.

The practice has a number of machines that can be loaned. Please ask at the information desk if you would like to borrow one.

You may wish to buy your own blood pressure monitor, such as an Omron M2 machine. These are available in supermarkets, chemists or online for £20-25. If you are buying a monitor, it is important it is an arm cuff monitor and NOT a wrist monitor.

Visit British and Irish Hypertension Society for a list of validated blood pressure monitoring machines.

Wear loose clothing when taking your blood pressure as layers of tight clothing rolled up  on your arm above the blood pressure cuff can cause readings to be artificially high.

Send in your blood pressure reading online.

Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home

Why we need patients to monitor their blood pressure at home

In order for us to help you to manage your blood pressure (BP), and any related medications you might be taking, we need to record your blood pressure result annually.

The best way for us to do this is for you to take a set of readings at home for a week, and to then use these readings to calculate an average, which is then submitted to us.

Steps to take when monitoring blood pressure at home

Follow the steps below to monitor your blood pressure at home and submit your average reading to us.

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Step One

You might already have access to a blood pressure monitor at home. It is important that your monitor is an arm cuff monitor and NOT a wrist monitor.

If you would like to purchase a blood pressure monitor they are available from many pharmacies or online shops. You might find this list of validated blood pressure machines useful to refer to.

Visit British and Irish Hypertension Society for a list of validated blood pressure monitoring machines.

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Step Two

Taking your blood pressure:

  • It's best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed.
  • Roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing, so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm.
  • Try to relax and avoid talking while you are doing the test.
  • Hold out one of your arms so it's at roughly the same level as your heart, and the cuff is placed around it – your arm should be supported in this position, such as with a cushion or arm of a chair.
  • The cuff will pump up to restrict the blood flow in your arm – this squeezing may feel a bit uncomfortable, but only lasts a few seconds.
  • The pressure in the cuff is recorded at two points as the blood flow starts to return to your arm – these measurements are used to give your BP reading.
  • Please submit your blood pressure reading to us - see below.
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Step Three

If your blood pressure reading is above your target blood pressure reading (135/85 for home readings) then we will ask you to complete a set of blood pressure readings over one week.

You will need to take a blood pressure reading every morning and every afternoon.

You will need to record the systolic reading (top number) and diastolic reading (bottom number) each time.

Make a note of these readings every morning and afternoon for 7 days. 

Once you've recorded your daily readings for 7 days you then need to calculate an average reading. There is a link under Step Four called 'calculate your average blood pressure reading’ that will help you to do this.

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Step Four

You can use the link below to calculate your average blood pressure reading.

  • Enter your morning and evening readings for day one.
  • Click the green button 'add a new day' and repeat this process until you have entered readings for seven days. 
  • Once all 7 days readings are entered, click the green button 'calculate the average' to get your average reading.

NHS Blood Pressure Test

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Step Five

You can submit your average reading to us using our online form.

Submit your readings

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Step Six

If your average blood pressure reading is also above your target blood pressure reading then you will be invited to have an appointment with one of our titration nurses to discuss how to reduce your blood pressure through changes to your lifestyle. We will also consider changes to medication to help you reach your target blood pressure.

Supporting patients with high blood pressure

If your BP is raised we will invite you in to discuss how changing medication and improving lifestyle factors will help get better blood pressure control.

Every patient is individual and for some patients who are at increased risk of falls due to frailty there is a fine balance between treating blood pressure and reducing it too far, and increasing the risk of light-headedness and falls.

Your BP target may be changed to a target of below 160/90, taking into account the scientific evidence and the advice from our consultant geriatrician and of course your own views about treatment.

For this reason, we are inviting all patients over 80 to have a face-to-face appointment with a health care assistant, to help to reach an individual target for you.

Some blood pressure medications will need to be monitored with regular blood tests.

Other support available

The British Heart Foundation provides helpful information on why it's important to know what your blood pressure is and how a healthy lifestyle can help your blood pressure.

BHF - Why should I know my blood pressure?

You can find out more about high blood pressure - causes, symptoms, treatment on the NHS website:

NHS - High blood pressure (hypertension)