Community Service/ Know Your Blood Pressure 2019

We offered free Blood Pressure tests at Waitrose on April 6, 2019. Four Rotary members manned the stand and 4 volunteer nurses did over 100 tests.

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Is this seat taken?

Saturday 6th April and it’s “Know Your Blood Pressure” day again when the Rotary Club of Billericay offers free Blood Pressure tests to the public at a base in Waitrose store on the High Street.  Thanks to the staff at Waitrose, when we arrived at 09.30 to set up, table and chairs were already set up in our usual location by the exit to the Garden Area.

Despite the need to “man” the Soapbox Derby Information Centre in the High Street, we managed to free up enough volunteers to cover the Blood Pressure Testing Service continuously from 10.00 a.m. until just after 2.00 p.m.  Norman Bishop, Bert French, Chandra Gupta and Peter Greene were on duty encouraging the public to take the tests and we had four volunteer Nurses this year, all of whom gave their time willingly and free of charge. 

Our grateful thanks to Juliette Shipton who has helped us for many years, Faith Purkis and Cepta Byrne who has also helped for a number of years and Pillay Jagambrun who returned for a second year.  The nurses had met before  and really enjoyed the Event.  All are keen to participate in any future event.

A Real Life-Saver

We did very brisk business, with the chairs never empty throughout the 4 hours we were on duty, with a record number of tests completed in that time.  Many satisfied customers who were delighted to be told they didn’t have a problem, but some serious cases identified where people were recommended to see their GP with the test results.  This service really can be a life saver!

A big vote of thanks to the Nurses who were all brilliant; especially with their counselling to those whose tests advised “follow up” visits to their G.P.’s.  We never really had a spare seat all morning and with the time taken for counselling we are close to the maximum number of tests that can be carried in the time slot.

The session was very successful as some 106 tests were carried out and resulted in six recommendations to visit their doctor within a week, and 21 within a month.  Know Your Blood Pressure Day is an annual co-operation between Rotary and the Stroke Association to bring life saving tests to the general public.

As reported last year, when a number of patients found the “normal” medium size too small for their arm diameter (a sign of the times?) we had been forced to invest in new Blood Pressure machines with larger cuffs.  A real manifestation of obesity in our society.

More Tests

Many thanks to Waitrose and their Staff for making us welcome and allowing us to operate in the busy Store, and especially to the Duty Managers who volunteered to have their blood pressure tested.

The event was so successful that we have been invited to return for a special KYBP session in mid-May for Waitrose Staff.