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Pharmacist’s own blood pressure problem leads Coventry chemists to offer free tests

A Coventry man’s chance discovery of a significant blood pressure problem has led to five Coventry pharmacies offering a week of free blood pressure tests starting Monday 26th March.

Coventry Pharmacy technician Carl Rose decided to use the blood pressure equipment in the Alliance Pharmacy he worked for to test his own blood pressure. He discovered a problem that required specialist medical care from a University of Warwick Medical School researcher Professor Donald Singer.

Carl was obviously glad to have had the opportunity to uncover his own particular need for treatment but the experience led him to think that more people should be more aware that pharmacists can often offer blood pressure checks. He therefore persuaded his employer Alliance Pharmacy to offer a week of free blood pressure checks across its five Coventry branches starting Monday 26th March. Carl said:

"My problem was a particularly serious one but it struck me that there are many people who could be unaware that they have a range of high blood pressure problems and unaware of how easy it is to get it checked in their own local high street pharmacy."

Professor Donald Singer, the Warwick Medical School researcher who treated Carl, said:

"I am delighted that these free blood pressure checks are being made available. High blood pressure is very common and is treatable but if undetected it can be a "silent killer" through heart disease and stroke. The only way to know whether you have developed high blood pressure is to check it regularly."

Alliance Pharmacy is offering the free blood pressure test as part of the Healthy Heart Check campaign. In over 90% of cases of high blood pressure, there is no single underlying cause and reversible lifestyle factors are major contributors to the problem. Pharmacists are able to offer many practical tips on keeping your blood pressure under control such as: eating less salt, eating a healthy diet, including more fruit and vegetables, drinking alcohol only in moderation, taking regular exercise, maintaining an ideal weight and waist measurement and having regular blood pressure measurements. Pharmacists will also advise if you need to see your doctor for them to consider whether they need to prescribe medication to reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and other complications of high blood pressure.

The 5 Coventry Alliance Pharmacy branches providing the week of free blood pressure checks are:

116-118 Jardine Crescent, Tile Hill

585 Stoney Stanton Road

10 Quorn Way, Ernsford Grange

248 Hipswell Highway, Wyken

9 Jubilee Crescent, Radford

Photo/Filming Opportunity: Both Carl Rose and Professor Donald Singer will be available at Alliance Pharmacy at 585 Stoney Stanton Road at 10am on Monday 26th March. Please do contact Peter Dunn details below if you wish to make use of this opportunity.

Note for editors: Alliance Pharmacy was founded in 1915 by Edgar Moss, with its first branch located in Feltham, South West London. Alliance Pharmacy is the third largest community pharmacy chain in the UK, with 964 branches as at 30 June 2006.

For further details please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick 07767 655860
02476 523708

PR19 PJD 22nd March 2007