Community Pharmacy Surrey and Sussex (CPSS) has partnered with Surrey Heartlands to develop a new service offering blood pressure and atrial fibrillation (AF) checks alongside wider healthcare advice to manage these conditions.

Dr Mike Hickman, Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Surrey County Hospital and Surrey Heartlands cardiovascular clinical lead, said that coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are the second and third largest contributors respectively to premature mortality in the area.

“Only six out of every ten people who have hypertension in Surrey Heartlands have been diagnosed, leaving more than 80,000 people potentially unaware they have a condition that significantly raises their risk of heart attack or stroke. That is in addition to one-third of people with AF being undiagnosed, leaving them exposed to the single biggest risk factor for a debilitating or potentially fatal stroke,” said Dr Hickman.

Commenting on the new partnership, CPSS chief executive James Wood said: “Every day 1.2million people go to their local community pharmacy teams for information and advice on how they can make positive changes to their health and lifestyles.

“This new service will increase detection of hypertension and AF and help not only to identify people who may develop these conditions in the future but, importantly, give members of the public the right support and advice to manage any potential risk.

“Working with Surrey Heartlands, we want to ensure that citizens are well informed and confident about reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke, by being able to take steps themselves and where appropriate, involving the right health care professional”.

The service is expected to launch later in the year.