Region's NHS first in country for life-saving blood pressure action

Doctors and nurses in the North East and North Cumbria area have been praised after it came top of the league nationally for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Dr Raj Bethapudi in his practice.Dr Raj Bethapudi in his practice.
Dr Raj Bethapudi in his practice.

High blood pressure – or hypertension – is a leading cause of strokes and heart attacks, so the NHS sets ambitious targets for blood pressure control among at-risk groups.

New figures show that the NHS in the North East and North Cumbria is the best in the country for controlling blood pressure, despite the challenges that come from long-standing inequalities and poor health.

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During the past year (2022/23), GP practices in the region took preventive steps to protect many adults whose blood pressure puts them at higher risk of stroke or heart attacks – 72 per cent of these patients had plans in place to control their blood pressure, 68 per cent in England as a whole.

Dr Raj Bethapudi, CVD prevention lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “Prevention doesn't often grab the headlines, but this is worth shouting about. Our practices are leading the way and saving lives – and we want to save more.

“Hypertension is a silent killer because there are usually no symptoms, until a catastrophic event like a stroke or heart attack. But it's very treatable, so both patients and health professionals can make a real difference and reduce the risk.”

The ICB provides a team of doctors to support to practices who need a helping hand, often in areas with high levels of deprivation.

When patients reach the blood pressure treatment threshold, they are often prescribed statins to control the condition and reduce the risk.