Rotary Know Your Blood Pressure Event 2018

Sat 14th April 2018 at 09.00 - 17.00

at Manchester Arndale -Members of the public are invited to have a free blood pressure check

RotaryClub of Manchester

Know Your Blood Pressure Event 14th April 2018

 

Another successful event, this year we took 509 blood pressures!

Again, one of the most important aspects contributing to the success of the event, is the fact that the Arndale Centre allocate us a prime site, many thanks to Sonya Nolan for arranging that for us, this allows us to maximize the site, by having more tables and chairs, and therefore the number of health professionals to take blood pressures, we had excellent medical students; Rui Jun Lim and Qing Tan, student nurse; Leigh Hutchinson, who also volunteered last year, lecture staff from Manchester University School of Nursing and Midwifery; Ann Caress, Judy Ormrod and Aileen McLoughlin, also nurse Maggie Withington (Sarah’s mum) Julie Chapman, Sue Cattermole (who is a stroke survivor) Dr. Jo Downton, Leanne from the Stroke Association brought Dan, Rowen, Kay, Chantelle and Neda and also Nic who, although not qualified to take BPs volunteered to engage with the passing public to offer the BP test.

Of the 509 (259 female and 250 male) people we tested, 387 were no further action required, 122 registered abnormal readings, of those 107 were advised to see their GP for a routine follow up within one month, and 15 were of sufficient concern to be given guidance to visit their GP for an urgent follow up within one week, thankfully, this year we had no hospital admission advised, the age ranges were; 18-29 x 113, 30-44 x 124, 45-59 x 142, 60-85 x 115 and over 85 x 15

After the event, all the drinks, cereal bars etc that were unused, were donated to the homeless shelter Narrowgate in Salford.

Without the help, enthusiasm and support of all the volunteers, including Rotarians and friends of Rotary; Peter Hartley, Roy Chapman, Bill Laidlaw, Sarah Withington, Susan Craig, Alia Arif, Derek Evans, Ernie Metcalfe, Sebastian Moldovan, Robin Graham, Dale Anne McAulay, Elizabeth Farrow, Pat from Trailblazers, and Manuela Costanzo, Manchester University Volunteer Programme students; Adam McGreavey, Victor Lin Hu, Linshu Xu, Yuxiao Zhang, Jayant Goel and Jiangli Liu, this event and important contribution to public health and awareness of stroke, could not take place, and be the success it is, our thanks to Danny at  Manchester University Estates, who lend us the furniture, Simon and Pete from BCL Movers were stars, the support of the staff at the Arndale Centre, particularly Sonya, a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL!!

 

Each year, a theme seems to emerge, and this year, at the end of the event when we were discussing this, Judy was saying how many people were talking to her about their feelings of loneliness, and feeling very alone, this is incredibly sad, then Ann and Aileen commented that they too heard this when they were taking BPs, not only from older people, but younger people too, this impacted so significantly that Judy did this research on the subject, thank you Judy.

 

Lonelinessisacomplexconcept,andavarietyofdefinitionsexist.Itmayberegardedassociallonelinessorisolation,wherebycontactwithfriendsandsocialnetworksarelimited,orasemotionalisolation,orafeelingofnotbeingintime,orinconnectionwithotherhumanbeings(Holmesetal.,2000).ThisdefinitionlinkswithearlierworkbyBowlbyandWeiss(1973)whoconsideredlonelinessfromasocialandpsychologicalperspective,andsuggestedittoconsistsoftwodimensions,emphasizingthecoreexperienceratherthantheintensityoftherelationships.Theexperienceoflonelinessamongtheveryold(Kirkevoldetal.,2012)hasbeenregardedinpositiveterms,forexampleafeelingofbeingfree,aswellasthemorenegativeconnotation ofbeingabandoned,andfeelingsoffearandsadness.Alternatively,Killeen(1998)consideredtheconceptoflonelinessasacontinuum,withthemostpositiveattributesbeingfeelingsofconnectedness,andthemostnegativebeingalienationandpowerlessnessasdisplayedbysocialandself-isolation. Predisposing factors include partnership status, ethnicity, gender, disability, physical and mental health issues, access to technology, the internet and social media, being a carer and having a limited income which restricts opportunities (NICE, 2016). In January 2018 the UK Prime Minister Teresa May appointed a ‘minister for loneliness’ Tracey Crouch. This followed the report on loneliness undertaken by the late MP Jo Cox in 2017. In 2018 the Office of National Statistics regarded the UK as the loneliness capital of Europe, following their survey of over 10 000 adults. They suggested one in every 20 people often, or always were lonely and emphasized that 10% of 16 -24 year olds fell into this category, making them the largest proportion of participants. Reasons for this may include a reliance on social media rather than face to face communication, as well as those factors already mentioned.

However,despitetheplethoraofdefinitionsthereisreticenceonthepartofmanypeopletoacknowledgethattheyarelonely,possiblyduetothedegreeofstigmaattachedtoitbutalsothatitisanexpectedpartofgrowingold.

Resources

Campaign to end loneliness (www.campaigntoendloneliness.org)

Jo Cox loneliness campaign (www.jococloneliness.org)

The Loneliness Experiment – Radio 4 online survey (www.lonelinessexperiment.orf)

 

All accessed 30th April 2018.

 

Barbara Rosenthal 30th April 2018