Blood pressure monitors are one of the many fast-growing solutions that can help people monitor and improve their health in the comfort of their own homes.
NHS Digital asked Healthwatch England to help them evaluate their remote blood pressure monitoring pilot (BP@Home) to understand peoples’ experiences of remote blood pressure monitoring and how GPs use their readings.
With the help of five local Healthwatch areas including us here in Hampshire, around 500 people were supported to share their experiences.
People told us that there are many benefits to blood pressure monitoring at home, including peace of mind, feeling in control, and convenience. But there are serious questions about whether the real benefits of better health outcomes are being realised.
We found that there are vital gaps in GP processes that negatively impact patients' experiences. This is demotivating for people and means opportunities to address blood pressure problems could be missed.
Some of the things patients told us
People use blood pressure monitors at home for many reasons – not just when advised by medical professionals
The experiences of those prompted by their GP to use a monitor at home fall short in many ways.
People were not given enough information about how to use their monitors
Many people are not submitting readings regularly.
When people do submit readings, they often don't hear back from their GP
People are willing to continue monitoring blood pressure remotely but have ideas on how the NHS can improve support
Thank you to everyone who took part.