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Size of the Prize for High Blood Pressure – Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes at Scale

Size of the Prize is a new resource that UCLPartners has developed with The Health Economics Unit. For every ICS, this shows the potential for real ambition in preventing heart attacks and strokes at scale in a short time frame by optimising the management of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke, common conditions that account for a quarter of premature deaths and 25% of the life expectancy gap between most affluent and most deprived communities. Treatment to lower blood pressure is highly effective at preventing these life-changing events, reducing demand on hospital services, and reducing health and social care costs.

Despite this, many people with hypertension have blood pressure that is not treated to target.

For each Integrated Care System and Region in England, Size of the Prize shows on a single slide:

The impact of COVID: in disrupting treatment for people with hypertension. On average the proportion with optimally controlled blood pressure has fallen from 70% to under 50%.

The risk: how many strokes and heart attacks might result if that disruption is not rapidly corrected. Across England this number exceeds 27,000 in 3 years.

The ambition: how many additional heart attacks and strokes can be prevented in 3 years and what savings can be generated if more people have their treatment optimised – with 3 levels of ambition.

Resources to support BP optimisation

UCLPartners has also developed a suite of resources to support primary care to achieve these ambitions and to prevent heart attacks and strokes at scale. These include:

  1. Search tools built for EMIS and SystmOne that risk stratify patients with hypertension so that clinicians can prioritise in their work – ensuring that everyone is offered appropriate care but that those at greatest risk are seen earliest.
  2. Resources for the wider workforce to support patient education and self-management – improving care and freeing up clinician capacity.

And a word about cholesterol: many people with high blood pressure are also at increased risk of CVD because their cholesterol is high. Suboptimal treatment of cholesterol in hypertension is also common. Optimising management of both cholesterol and blood pressure in people with hypertension will substantially increase the size of the prize for CVD prevention. Read more about optimising cholesterol management in this blog.

Proactive care frameworks

Our online support package contains tools and resources to help primary care teams to continue to effectively deliver proactive care for patients with CVD and respiratory conditions.

View the frameworks