If you have high blood pressure (hypertension) you may be able to be seen in our HCA-led hypertension clinics. The aim of these clinics is to ensure you are getting the best possible advice about how you can manage your blood pressure, and to make it easier for you to obtain your repeat medications.
The clinic runs in two parts:
- A non-fasting blood test
- A ‘hypertension clinic’ appointment with one of our HCAs or Flora approximately one week after your blood test appointment
Once you have seen the Health Care Assistant or nurse, and if your results are all normal, they will ask Dr Rooms to re-authorise your medication. This will be sent to the chemist of your choice for you to collect within 48hours and you will not need to make an appointment with the doctor. If any of your results are abnormal, your blood pressure is not well controlled or you have any concerns about your tablets that the HCAs are not able to answer they will make you an appointment with the doctor.
Your medication can then be automatically issued and sent to the pharmacy every 2 months for you to collect; you do not need to put in a repeat request either to the pharmacy or to the surgery. This is a system called ‘repeat dispensing’. When your repeat medication runs out, it will normally show as ‘6/6 issues’ on your repeat slip you will need to attend the hypertension clinic again. This will usually be every 12months.
Below is information about the new hypertension clinics and about the repeat dispensing service. If you have any questions about this process, please do contact our Reception Manager, Hayley or Senior Administrator, Julia who will be able to help.
To manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol is very important for your health, and your lifestyle can play an important role in this. As such we want to ensure you are getting the best possible advice on what you can do to improve your health with lifestyle changes. Our HCAs and nurses are specially trained to offer this advice to you. You will be seen in the clinic once every 12 months. You do not need to see a GP as well regarding your blood pressure or high cholesterol unless the HCA or nurse advises you to do so, or you have specific concerns with your medication or symptoms that the HCA or nurse cannot address.
We recognise that recording your blood pressure in the GP surgery can cause anxiety for some patients (the ‘white coat syndrome’!). If you tend to get high readings at the surgery you may wish to consider purchasing a machine to check your blood pressure at home. These can be bought quite cheaply from a pharmacy or online but please ensure you get a good quality machine that measures on the upper arm not the wrist, as these are not so accurate. If you do have a machine at home please consider bringing in up to a week of twice daily readings to your clinic appointment so we can record this on your records. We will also be looking at installing a machine in the surgery waiting room so you can check your blood pressure when it is convenient to you.
What will happen at the clinic:
- Last issue of medication (issue 6/6 on your prescription repeat order form) – recognise that your review is due.
- Book an appointment at the surgery for your blood test (not fasting unless told otherwise).
- At least one week later book an appointment for the hypertension clinic.
- During the appointment the HCA will check your blood pressure, height, weight and ask you about your lifestyle. They will discuss healthy lifestyle advice with you and answer any questions you have.
- They will record your ‘QRISK2’ which is calculation of your estimated risk of heart disease in the next 10 years. If this is raised and it has not previously been discussed with a doctor they will advise you see a GP routinely to do so.
- They will ask if you have any problems with your medication or symptoms that could be related to your blood pressure e.g. headaches, chest pains, dizzy spells. You may be advised to discuss these issues with a GP.
- If your blood pressure is normal your medication will be reauthorized for another 12 months, when you should attend the hypertension clinic again. Your medication will be sent to your pharmacy via the repeat dispensing service, so you can collect each set from the pharmacy directly when you need it, without having to request it from the surgery.
- If your blood pressure is high the HCA will advise you what to do next.
- If you have seen a GP in the interim for another reason and had a normal blood pressure recorded and the appropriate blood tests done then you can been seen in the hypertension clinic 12 months after that time.