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Blood Pressure Testing Introduced at Whitby Library

Residents can now check their heart health at a new blood pressure monitoring station in Whitby which marks a first for North Yorkshire's library service.

Whitby Library is offering a walk-in blood pressure point for the public to make use of which could alleviate the pressures on doctor's surgeries.

There are two blood pressure monitors available, one as a self-service in the library branch with easy-to-follow guidance provided. The other can be borrowed on a loan period of up to 10 days.

It is the first library in North Yorkshire to introduce a pressure station and will act as a pilot.

North Yorkshire Council's corporate director of community development, Nic Harne, said:

"Once again our libraries are proving to be much more than books. Our library strategy includes working with local communities and helping to promote improved health and wellbeing which this pilot demonstrates.

"We have joined with our public health team in offering the service to alleviate pressure on doctor's surgeries, as there are waiting lists for access to blood pressure machines.

"As a well-used space in the town, we hope many people take advantage of the new service."

Blood Pressure UK has warned that high blood pressure is a serious condition and can lead to major health problems.

If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause heart and kidney failure, sight problems and vascular dementia.

One in three adults, which is the equivalent of about 16 million people, has high blood pressure in the UK which rises to 50 per cent of over-65s, according to the Age UK charity.

The county has a higher average age of its residents than other parts of the country.  According to the 2021 Census, a quarter of North Yorkshire's 615,000 residents are aged 65 and over, compared to a national average of 18.4 per cent.

North Yorkshire Council's director of public health, Louise Wallace, added:

"Monitoring your blood pressure is incredibly important and spotting abnormalities can save lives. We hope identifying any problems can be a catalyst to individuals contacting their local community pharmacy.

"High blood pressure can result in heart attacks and strokes and isn't just a worry for older people. We are delighted to partner with Whitby Library to deliver such a worthwhile service.

"Many people fail to do this simple check, so we urge as many as possible to visit their library and use the monitors."

North Yorkshire Council is responsible for 43 libraries, and other services which are already on offer from the sites across the county include computer and online support, health and wellbeing events and advice for learners and job seekers.

 

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