Nearly a thousand shoppers took the opportunity to have their blood pressure measured at a special pop up shop in the Mander Centre recently.

It was organised by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Public Health Team and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust to mark Know Your Numbers! Week, with just over a third of the 947 people having their blood pressure checked recording a high reading.

They were given advice about the steps they can take to control their blood pressure and referred to their GP for further support. Twenty one individuals with particularly high blood pressure were referred for a same day clinical assessment.

High blood pressure can lead to heart and circulatory disease, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD), which causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK – the equivalent of around 2,300 deaths each month in the Midlands alone.

Community pharmacies offer a free blood pressure check service for people aged 40 and over with no previous history of high blood pressure; to find your local pharmacy, visit Find a pharmacy

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Know Your Numbers! Week was a great opportunity to engage with shoppers and to help them understand the importance of things like blood pressure.

"People were very appreciative of the chance to check their blood pressure in a convenient location like a shopping centre, and with the help and advice that they were able to get from healthcare professionals. 

"It proved so successful that the pop up was extended for the whole week and we are now in discussions with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust about what other activities we might be able to offer through the Mander Centre in the future.

"Meanwhile, high blood pressure remains the biggest risk factor for strokes, so if you are aged 40 or over, please make sure you know your numbers and get a free blood pressure check."

Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director for the NHS in the Midlands, said: “High blood pressure is known as the silent killer, with a third of people with high blood pressure not knowing they have it. 

"Getting your blood pressure checked at your local pharmacy, if you don’t have a history of high blood pressure, is quick and straightforward. You could add years to your life by getting the treatment or medication you need earlier.”

Blood pressure checks form a part of the NHS Health Check, offered to people aged between 40 and 74 once every 5 years.

The NHS Health Check assesses an individual’s health and identifies relatively simple lifestyle changes they could make to lower their risk of developing serious but preventable conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and dementia.

To find out more about NHS Health Checks, please speak to your GP or visit NHS Health Check. Online tools are also available to enable anyone aged 18 and over to check and assess their health. For details, visit Check Your Health.