Horton Pharmacy in Epsom is offering free walk-in blood pressure checks to raise awareness of hypertension.

The pharmacy, located at Horton Local Centre, in Epsom, is taking part in May Measurement Month.

The idea is not only to raise awareness of hypertension but to also gather evidence which can influence health officials.

Sharn Dev, pharmacist and Horton Pharmacy owner, said his team offer blood pressure screening all year round but they are eager to support the initiative.

He said: “We’re not just here for packets of pills, we offers services like blood pressure screening and can offer health advice without the need for an appointment.

“It only takes a few minutes to have your blood pressure checked and in the unlikely event there is an issue we can refer you on to get the right support.”

As well as running the checks in the pharmacy, there are also plans to take blood pressure readings at the Rainbow Leisure Centre.

May Measurement Month is organised by the International Society of Hypertension (ISH) and backed by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

Stephen Fishwick, from the NPA, said: “Checking patients’ blood pressure is a relatively simple intervention that can save lives.

“The NPA believes that community pharmacy should play a far greater role in screening and ultimately managing hypertension.

“Complications from high blood pressure cost the NHS £2bn a year and make up 12 per cent of all GP appointments but we want to change that.

“Many of our members already offer blood pressure checks and the NPA is working hard to enable community pharmacy to do more in this area.”

Last year during May Measurement Month, 1.2 million people in 100 countries were checked as part of the initiative.

Professor Neil Poulter, ISH president, said: “We can often reduce blood pressure with known lifestyle changes and existing drugs, but unless people know they have hypertension they can’t be treated.

“So, a key objective of MMM is, not only to increase public awareness, but also to collect the evidence needed to help influence global health policy and make blood pressure screening more widely available around the world.”

For more information about the campaign visit www.maymeasure.com