Keighley Healthy Living has been awarded a £10,000 grant to support more people in Keighley with blood pressure above normal level, which may lead to future health conditions such as such as strokes, heart attacks and heart failure. The aim is to educate people about what high blood pressure is and the health risks, teach people how to monitor their own blood pressure and to support people to make simple lifestyle and behaviour changes which can bring their blood pressure back within a healthy range, and is without need for lifelong medication.

The funding awarded by the Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Grant will contribute toward the ‘Blood Pressure Connect’ Programme after an earlier pilot project demonstrated that people with slightly raised blood pressure could be supported to reduce it through community-based healthy lifestyles support and intervention.

Participants, who have been referred by their GP or through health checks will receive a blood pressure monitor, health coaching and active signposting to community-based support and offers in areas such as, diet, physical activity, social opportunities and mental health. A cooking course based on blood pressure lowering recipes will be available and there will be opportunities for people, unlikely to access traditional routes to being more active, like gyms, to get more active in way that meet their needs and that are accessible to a diverse range of people.

Kerry Page, the project lead at KHL, said: “Keighley Healthy Living always aims to tackle health inequalities and the entire Bradford district has a higher than national average mortality rate of under 75’s from cardiovascular diseases that are often preventable.

“We know first-hand the importance of providing regular contacts and letting people be heard in order to build trust and motivation in people who may be marginalised or have barriers to accessing support.

“We’re very grateful for the support from Heart Research UK which will enable us to deliver this pilot, and hopefully reduce the impact of high blood pressure and the conditions it could lead to in the community.”

The Blood Pressure Connect project is a collaboration between patients, Keighley Healthy Living (KHL), Healthy Hearts (Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership), and local Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Modality and the Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven Alliance (WACA).