Partnership case study: ‘Blood pressure and heart rhythm checks’ by Bolton at Home

We carry out blood pressure and heart arrhythmia checks at various sheltered schemes across Bolton, for older people and local residents.

Our challenge

Bolton at Home were approached by University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation trust to take part in the Heart Rhythm project. It is a charity health screening project to detect the most common abnormal heart rhythm, Atrial Fibrillation (AF). AF is a major cause of preventable stroke and is likely to become more prevalent with our ageing population.

Approximately three out of four people who have a stroke for the first time have high blood pressure, and an irregular atrial heart rhythm (AF) is present in about one out of five strokes.

AF screening and blood pressure checks are offered to sheltered scheme residents over 65 years of age. They help to help detect early signs of illness that can lead to stroke and heart failure, and to ensure that interventions are put into place to prevent this.

Our solution

Working with the Stroke Association and University Hospital South Manchester, blood pressure and heart rhythm checks are offered to sheltered scheme residents. The checks take place during coffee mornings and all residents are welcome to attend.

A small non-invasive device is used where participants place their thumbs upon a reader for approximately 30 seconds. The results are fed back and analysed by specialist cardiologists at the hospital who then advise participants of the results.

Our impact

To date, 54 people have received blood pressure and heart rhythm checks.

We aims to check a further 100 people in next 6 months.

We have already achieved a positive impact for one resident at Jubilee house whose heart rhythm was found to be irregular. Due to the equipment and process used, the tester was able to send results immediately to a cardiologist at University hospital. The cardiologist arranged for an emergency appointment and the resident saw a heart specialist a couple of days later. Without this check the condition would have continued to go undetected as the customer did not feel unwell. By detecting this condition early, the resident was able to access appropriate support and interventions to prevent serious illness caused by stroke or further heart damage.

Our partners

The Stroke Association carry out blood pressure checks and offer advice where necessary.

Heart Rhythm checks are carried out by the University Hospital of South Manchester as part of a charity health screening project funded by the Atrial Fibrillation Foundation and Arrhythmia Alliance

Bolton at Home would be unable to deliver this project without these partnerships, given the specialist nature of the checks. We have been able to provide customers with advice and information to help them manage existing conditions or to avoid serious illness through early detection of contributory factors.

Our role

Bolton at Home’s dedicated Activities Co-ordinator liaised with partners to facilitate the delivery of checks, and promoted each session to ensure good attendance.

The project used Bolton at Home sheltered housing community centres and community lounges to host the checks. Sheltered accommodation tenants and other older people from the local community attended the sessions.

Using our assets and facilities enabled partners delivering the checks to access greater numbers of participants and achieve greater cost efficiency. It also enabled partners to engage with customers that may not participate if they had to attend venues away from their homes and communities

Our contribution to improving health

The project aims to detect early signs of illness that can lead to stroke and heart failure, and ensure that interventions are put in place to prevent these.

This assists primarily with Domain 1 of the NHS outcomes framework ”preventing people from dying prematurely”,  by identifying high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythm. It also addresses Domain 2 ”Enhancing Quality of life for people with long term conditions”, through early detection and intervention to ensure those affected are able to manage their conditions and prevent serious illness.

In terms of Public Health Outcomes, the project helps to prevent mortality from preventable and cardiovascular conditions, and improves the health-related quality of life for older people. It does this through early detection and intervention to ensure that people who are affected are able to manage their conditions and prevent serious illness.