Published: Friday, 23rd February 2018

Pharmacies around Royal Greenwich are now offering free blood pressure checks.

The new scheme - which has launched to coincide with National Heart Month - means residents popping into their local pharmacy can get a blood pressure check and healthy lifestyle advice without needing to make an appointment.

Eight pharmacies have signed up so far to the Royal Borough of Greenwich initiative, which is part of the Be Sure Blood Pressure campaign delivered in partnership with Charlton Athletic Community Trust and the British Heart Foundation.

It's really important to get a check

Almost half of people who have high blood pressure don't know it, so it's really important to get yours checked. If your blood pressure is too high, it increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke, as well as heart and kidney disease, and is closely linked to some forms of dementia.

To celebrate the launch of the scheme, Cllr David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, and Charlton Athletic player Nicky Ajose had their blood pressures checked at St James' Pharmacy in Woolwich which is among the pharmacies across the Borough that have signed up to the scheme so far.

'It only takes a minute to find out'

Cllr David Gardner, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: "Bringing free blood pressure checks and healthy lifestyle advice to pharmacies is yet another way that Royal Greenwich is making it more convenient for residents to get healthy while they're out and about.

"It only takes a minute to find out your blood pressure so I'd encourage all residents to check theirs when they next go past a participating pharmacy - it could be the important first step to reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

"I look forward to seeing even more pharmacies signing up to the initiative in the coming months and residents eventually being able to walk into any pharmacy in the Borough and gain a free blood pressure check for free."

'Get your blood pressure checked for free'

Nicky Ajose, who is Health Ambassador for Charlton Athletic Community Trust, said: "Even if you don't have high blood pressure, as long as it's not too low, we could all reduce our risk and bring it down a little.

"Small changes such as eating healthily (particularly eating less salt and more fruit and vegetables), moving more, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine and getting more sleep can help towards this. It's really great that you can now just pop down to a pharmacy and get your blood pressure checked for free."

'Make community pharmacies your first port of call'

Raj Matharu, CEO of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich Local Pharmacy Committee, said: "Pharmacies are undergoing lots of changes so I am pleased that this new initiative is making it more convenient for residents to access healthcare.

"I would like to congratulate Royal Greenwich on this excellent project which follows NHS England's drive to encourage people to make community pharmacies their first port of call."

The new service follows on from the Council's highly successful autumn 2017 roadshow, delivered by Charlton Athletic Community Trust, which encouraged almost 1,500 residents to get their blood pressures checked.

Find your local pharmacy

The full list of pharmacies that are offering free blood checks are:

  • Chemcare Pharmacy, Elford Close, Kidbrooke
  • Kevin’s Pharmacy, Charlton Road, Charlton
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Twin Tumps Way, Thamesmead
  • St James' Pharmacy, Powis Street, Woolwich
  • Temple Pharmacy, The Slade, Plumstead
  • Temple Pharmacy, The Slade, Woolwich
  • Whinchat Pharmacy, Whinchat Road, Broadwater Green, Thamesmead
  • Worthcare Ltd, Gallions Reach Health Centre, Bentham Road, Thamesmead.