High Blood Pressure (Detection and Treatment)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 November 2023.

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Photo of David Torrance David Torrance Scottish National Party

4. To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to improve the detection and treatment of high blood pressure, in light of reports that an estimated 1.3 million people in Scotland are living with this condition. (S6O-02691)

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

Our heart disease action plan and stroke improvement plan include the aim of minimising preventable cardiovascular disease by improving detection, diagnosis and management of risk factor conditions such as hypertension and high blood pressure. The connect me programme delivers a national pathway for high blood pressure diagnosis and management. The pathway is already used in every health board and by most general practitioner practices in Scotland. Evaluation has shown that it is having a positive impact on reducing blood pressure. It has enabled more than 85,000 people in Scotland to remotely monitor their blood pressure, and it has contributed to improved blood pressure control.

Photo of David Torrance David Torrance Scottish National Party

Data from the Scottish national health service suggests that only a quarter of the people who have high blood pressure are treated to target. With high blood pressure being associated with around 50 per cent of heart attacks and strokes, will the minister commit to prioritising action on high blood pressure in order to reduce the burden of ill health that it causes for people in Scotland?

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

I recognise the importance of taking action to tackle risk factors such as high blood pressure in order to minimise preventable cardiovascular disease. That is why, as I said in my initial response, we have already prioritised that by including actions to improve the diagnosis and management of high blood pressure in our heart disease action plan and stroke improvement plan. For example, our heart disease action plan supports community models of detection, although it is important to note that such efforts should be aligned with clear referral pathways for further investigation and clinical advice.