Health Innovation South West has worked with Okehampton Medical Centre to develop new ways of identifying and treating people with hypertension.

Through an innovative approach to blood pressure optimisation, involving adapting a proactive care framework, teamwork and supported self-management, the medical centre aimed to increase blood pressure detection and management rates.


Our whole team approach enabled us to take on the challenges of reducing CVD risk in a post pandemic environment and make use of the UCLPartners risk stratification tools and digital platforms.


Judith Magowan, Long Term Conditions Lead Nurse, Okehampton Medical Centre

What the project involved

Historically, hypertension was managed through face-to-face consultations with a GP.

However, this was both time consuming for patients and GPs, and had the potential to lead to inaccuracies due to measurements being taken in an unfamiliar environment.

Okehampton Medical Centre decided to tackle hypertension differently. Its approach involved adopting the UCLPartners’ Proactive Care Framework for hypertension, which provides search and risk stratification tools, workforce education,d digital resources to support patient self-management.

Patients are educated about the target range for blood pressure and its importance, signposted to resources and encouraged to monitor their blood pressure at home.

Administrative teams use digital platforms to collect readings and communicate with patients. Health care assistants and junior nurses gather vital statistics and other long-term condition indicators and support patients with self-management and lifestyle changes. Non-medical prescribing nurses and pharmacists manage patients’ risk factors, treatments and escalate or de-escalate interventions.

GPs are only involved in exceptional circumstances. 

As part of the national blood pressure optimisation programme, Health Innovation South West supported Okehampton Medical Centre’s approach and catalysed the spread of best practice, particularly within deprived communities.

Through a series of collaborative and peer-led workshops with Okehampton Medical Centre’s lead nurse in 2022/23, Health Innovation South West facilitated the adoption of new ways of tackling high blood pressure in over 30 Primary Care Networks across the region.


Okehampton Medical Centre saw high blood pressure detection and management rates increase by 25%, with a further increase expected as the new ways of working are sustainably embedded.

The medical centre has also seen a reduction in GP workload in relation to blood pressure management.  The team and patients have grown in confidence and are feeling empowered to manage blood pressure and the associated risk factors.

Next steps

The blood pressure optimisation programme ran until March 2023. Despite its closure, Health Innovation South West is building on the momentum generated by further sharing best practices and continuing to capture insights and analyse regional data to track impact.

In collaboration with local system leaders, Health Innovation South has developed a follow-on programme of work to continue supporting the regional workforce to improve and increase access to blood pressure checks and engage patients further.

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