‘Text us your blood pressure’ scheme to be piloted at local GP practices

The conventional way of checking blood pressure could soon be a thing of the past for some local patients.
The conventional way of checking blood pressure could soon be a thing of the past for some local patients.

Patients at three local GP practices will soon be able to take their own blood pressure checks - before texting the result to the nurse or doctor.

The system is called Flo, after pioneering Victorian era nurse Florence Nightingale, and will be trialled by patients at the Antonine (Bonnybridge), Carronbank (Denny) and Viewpoint (Stenhousemuir) GP practices.

Under the scheme patients will receive a text message from their practice asking for a reading, which the patient will then check before texting the result.

NHS Forth Valley says: “What the patient sees and interacts with could not be more simple and familiar, given the prevalence of mobile phones and texting”.

If readings breach parameters agreed in a patient’s care management plan, a text will be sent back advising what to do next.

An alert can also be sent to clinical staff to support early intervention, which is said to reduce the need for the patient to travel to their GP or hospital.

Lesley Middlemiss, Programme Manager for Primary Care Transformation with Forth Valley’s two local Health and Social Care Partnerships, said: “Indications from other Health Board areas are that patients really like this scheme and it is working very well.

“GPs and practice nurses are also enthusiastic, as taking a reading at home is much more reliable.

“All GP practices in Forth Valley will eventually get the opportunity to come on board.”