The Rotary Club of Dundee has joined forces with the Guildry of Dundee to donate £10,000 for potentially life-saving home blood pressure monitors for patients with high blood pressure.
Professor Isla Mackenzie, a leading figure in cardiovascular medicine in the city, hailed the project as a wonderful initiative from which people in the Dundee area with high blood pressure would hugely benefit.
The two charitable bodies have each donated £5000 to provide several hundred life-saving devices to be distributed around every GP surgery in the city and to the cardiovascular risk service and the stroke service at Ninewells Hospital.
Dundee Rotary Club’s spending comes from its £100,000 Centenary Fund of charitable giving to mark its 100th anniversary in 2021-22.
The club is delighted that the Guildry Corporation, an even longer-established charitable institution with a history stretching back to the 13th century, has come forward to support the project with matched funding.
One of the criteria for the Rotary Club’s centenary fund projects is the advancement of health.
Another objective is that any project should have a high enough profile to attract funding from other local charities and organisations.
Hypertension – high blood pressure - is by far the most common long term medical condition in the UK, with the British Heart Foundation stating that having high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Knowing your blood pressure can therefore be vital for saving your life.
Undiagnosed or under-treated hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors associated with heart attacks and stroke.
Home blood pressure monitors are of significant benefit to people with hypertension, as they allow early diagnosis and treatment to reduce the risk of such serious illnesses.
The Rotary Club and the Guildry looked for a joint project to advance the healthcare of the people of Dundee.
They held discussions with Isla Mackenzie, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Dundee and consultant physician at Ninewells Hospital.
She identified a need for home blood pressure monitors for people in the area.
“Providing blood pressure monitors that people with high blood pressure can use themselves at home is really important,” she stated.
“They help people understand changes in their blood pressure in response to lifestyle changes or medications, and they help them to know when to seek additional medical advice from their GP practice.
“This is particularly important in COVID-times which has prevented many high risk patients from leaving home.
“It also prevents people having to make special trips to healthcare premises just to have their blood pressure measured.
“It is often better to base diagnosis and treatment decisions on blood pressure taken in the home environment rather than in the clinic environment as this gives a better indication of usual blood pressure levels.”
Professor Mackenzie said there are many people in the area living with high blood pressure who do not have their own home blood pressure monitors but who would benefit greatly from having them.
She stated: “I am delighted that the generosity of Dundee Guildry and Dundee Rotary Club will lead to hundreds of these being made available via health professionals to local people in need with high blood pressure.
“This should lead to people being able to take more control of their own health and will help to prevent the long-term problems that can be associated with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
“This is a wonderful initiative from which people with high blood pressure will hugely benefit.”
Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Primary Care Programme Manager, Nicola Stevens, who submitted the successful bid for funding, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the people of Dundee will benefit from these home blood pressure monitors which have been so generously donated.
“These blood pressure monitors will be available through Dundee general practices and Community Nursing Services, to those who require regular blood pressure monitoring in the comfort of their own home.
“This will help with the initial diagnosis of high blood pressure, as well as supporting ongoing monitoring when this is required.
“These monitors are an alternative option to the home blood pressure monitors already available in some general practices participating in the Flo telehealth blood pressure monitoring project.
“Having these monitors available through GP practices across the city and from Dundee Community Nursing Services will mean that even more people will directly benefit from timely initial diagnosis of high blood pressure and ongoing monitoring.“
Clive Murray, president of Dundee Rotary Club, said: “It was clear at an early stage that this initiative had potential to make a significant contribution towards improvement of health in our communities.
“Through the combined efforts of Rotary, Guildry and health professionals, we are delighted that another of our Centenary projects can be implemented, bringing benefit to many across the city.”
Scott Williamson, Lord Dean of Guild, said: “This is one of the most exciting projects in which we have been involved for some time.
“We are delighted to be able to join with The Rotary Club of Dundee in their Centenary Year and make this project happen.
“It is a great opportunity for us to do something that we hope will be of huge benefit to people all over our city.”
The Club has also agreed a £20,000 matched funding venture with the Nine Incorporated Trades with each donating £10,000.
This will see ten grants of £2000 each be awarded to ten local charities at a special event to launch the centenary year on May 19, exactly 100 years on from the date that the fully constituted Rotary Club of Dundee came into being.
more Money will go to fund two volunteers with a lived experience of addiction to use that awareness to gain qualifications for careers in health care.
more Thanks for the £10,000 donation for blood pressure monitors
more 56 Reform Street, the site of Ingram's Restaurant. Where we met after leaving the Queens Hotel
more The Rotary Club of Dundee held its first meetings in the Queens Hotel before moving to Reform Street later.
more Plans for our Centenary Celebrations
more Our £25,000 Bursary Scheme
more £24,000 pilot scheme part of £100,000 bounty of charitable spending for good causes
more major medical research project by the University of Dundee
back The Rotary Club of Dundee came into being on May 19, 1921.