A Making Every Contact Count (MECC) pilot is set to be launched across Surrey as part of the national MECC initiative, with four local Covid-19 vaccination sites offering eligible patients Blood Pressure (BP) and Atrial Fibrillation (AF) screening as they get their latest Autumn booster, or outstanding Covid-19 vaccinations.
The pilot aims to increase the number of opportunities for the Surrey population to have their blood pressure and atrial fibrillation checked in community settings to help to identify and prevent stroke and cardiovascular related illnesses.
The MECC service was launched throughout November, with four vaccination centres including Artington Mass Vaccination Centre, Emberbrook Centre for Health, Nescot College and Chertsey Hall set to run the BP/AF screening pilot for various periods of time.
Patients over 40 can access the blood pressure screening service, with those over 65 also eligible for an atrial fibrillation check, which looks for irregularities in pulse rate. The results from the screening will be shared live with the patient, along with relevant advice and any required calls to action. The patient’s results will also be shared with their GPs to be placed on their files.
The BP/AF pilot is effectively an initial screening and not a formal diagnosis of a condition of high or low blood pressure or that atrial fibrillation has been detected. The screening opportunity provides people with information to empower them and actively engages patients to participate in their own health and wellbeing.
Potential numbers of people who may be offered a screening at one of the four vaccination sites are approximately 26,000 for blood pressure and 6000 for atrial fibrillation.
Dr Vishal Sagar, Joint Cardiovascular Disease Clinical Network Lead for Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System commented; “It is estimated that 142,700 people are living with hypertension in the Surrey Heartlands region, and an estimated 5092 patients with undetected atrial fibrillation, with many people unaware they may have an issue.
By providing accessible BP/AF intervention screening it is hoped that we can begin to reduce these numbers and lower the risk of associated cardiovascular health problems across our region.”