Welcome to the clinical training for the NHS community pharmacy hypertension case finding service. All lessons and final assessment will be available in January 2022.
In the meantime, we have provided some further information below from the PSNC that may be helpful prior to completing our training course:
The service aims to:
- Identify people with high blood pressure aged 40 years or older (who have previously not had a confirmed diagnosis of hypertension), and to refer them to general practice to confirm diagnosis and for appropriate management;
- At the request of a general practice, undertake ad hoc clinic and ambulatory blood pressure measurements; and
- Provide another opportunity to promote healthy behaviours to patients.
The service requirements are included in the service specification, which contractors must read before deciding whether to provide the service.
*The service specification is currently working its way through the NHSE&I publication approval process and the final version will be published shortly.
As part of preparations to provide the service, contractors will need to purchase or rent equipment for each of the two stages of the service – Clinic blood pressure check and 24-hour ABPM – unless they already have equipment which meets the required standards.
Equipment that is to be used in the service must be validated by the British and Irish Hypertension Society (BIHS), so contractors must use a ‘normal’ BP meter and an ABPM which are included on one of the two following BIHS lists:
Points to note:
- ABPMs must be reset for each service user;
- To meet the service specification requirements, validation, maintenance and recalibration of both clinic blood pressure monitors and ABPM devices should be carried out periodically according to manufacturers’ instructions; and
- Infection control measures and cleaning must be carried out as per the instructions of the manufacturer or supplier and in line with current infection control guidance.
Considerations before purchasing/renting equipment
Contractors may find it useful to refer to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency guidance on the purchase, management and use of blood pressure measurement devices when selecting equipment for this service.
Before a decision is made about the purchase or rental of equipment, there are several considerations contractors may need to think through to ensure they have weighed up the additional requirements, implications and costs associated with provision of the service when using their selected equipment.
A non-exhaustive list of some of the considerations can be found below:
- Is maintenance and training included in the purchase price?
- If equipment is broken, does the supplier provide a spare whilst it is being repaired?
- Calibration versus replacement cost and the carbon footprint of both activities;
- Frequency/cost of cuff replacement and other consumables;
- Complexity of use – time taken to use (and explain use, in the case of ABPM);
- For clinic meters, do they automatically take 3 measurements and flag irregular pulse (this feature is very beneficial, but optional)?
- For ABPM, the usability of any inclusive software to support set up for the patient and interpretation of readings. Additionally, software and hardware compatibility with existing pharmacy IT systems needs to be considered, e.g. can you plug the meter into a USB port on a PC in the pharmacy; and
- Insurance to cover accidental damage to either type of meter and to cover the theft or failure of a patient to return ABPM.
All course content will be available to access in January 2022. Please login then to complete your training.