Sid Valley GPs issue appeal for missing community-funded equipment

The Sidmouth Health Centre on Blackmore Drive. Ref shs 10-16SH 7178. Picture: Simon Horn

The Sidmouth Health Centre on Blackmore Drive. Ref shs 10-16SH 7178. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

70 patients forced onto waiting list for 24-hour blood pressure monitors

GPs have issued a plea for the return of community-funded equipment - as 70 Sidmouth patients have been forced onto a waiting list.

Sid Valley Practice partners say they are facing unprecedented demand for 24-hour blood pressure monitors which play an important role in reducing strokes and heart attacks.

The problem – according to the doctors - is largely due to the town’s elderly demographic, which means they are having to cope with increasing health needs on a scale most of the country will not realise until 2020.

Several of the blood pressure machines were purchased through donations to the Sid Valley Practice Equipment Fund and GPs have issued an appeal for many that have been lent out to be returned.

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Dr Joe Stych – one of the practice partners – said: “We are working hard to manage people’s blood pressure. The demand on the practice at present is so high that we have 70 people on a waiting list for a 24-hour blood pressure monitor.”

Dr Stych explained the equipment gives doctors a clear picture of how a patient’s blood pressure changes throughout the day, so they can administer or adjust medicine accordingly. It also helps combat the ‘white coat effect’ which can give a misleading reading.

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He added that poor diet and obesity also play a role in the increased demand.

Anyone who is concerned about their blood pressure can use machines in the waiting rooms of the Blackmore Drive or Beacon Medical Centre surgeries without an appointment.

Home monitors can also be purchased from chemists for patients to take their own blood pressure to drop into their GP.

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