Blood Pressure Optimisation

The Blood Pressure Optimisation (BPO) Programme was a one year national programme mandated by NHS England which concluded in March 2023.  AHSN NENC (now HI NENC) provided support to primary care in the region to improve the identification and management of people with hypertension, with a focus on targeting health inequalities.

Whilst this programme has now ended, hypertension remains a key element of our regional North East and North Cumbria Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Programme. 

 Overall Aim

The aim of the programme was to help prevent cardiovascular disease including heart attacks, strokes and cases of vascular dementia.

Delivery in the North East and North Cumbria

AHSN NENC supported Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to implement the UCLPartners Proactive Care Framework for hypertension, to optimise clinical care and self-management of people with hypertension. Key activities included:

  • Detection of people with hypertension through case finding interventions (including practice case finding through patient record searches, and models that involve community pharmacists as part of the hypertension community pharmacy scheme)
  • Where people with hypertension had been identified:
    • Risk stratification to prioritise those who need to be seen by their GP sooner;
    • Use of the wider healthcare workforce to support remote care and self-care;
    • Adaptation of framework pathways for local implementation;
    • Providing support to people to maximise the benefits of remote monitoring and virtual consultations where appropriate.

A key priority of the programme was to reduce health inequalities and we worked with system partners, including the new Integrated Care System (ICS) to ensure that activities were focused on areas of higher deprivation and groups of people who are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. For more information about current activities that we are involved with to support the reduction of health inequalities, you can read more about our local Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme.

In addition to the national project, AHSN NENC has funded a regional project to test place-based case approaches to increasing the detection of hypertension and atrial fibrillation (AF). A case study demonstrating the findings and impact of this project will soon be shared and updated on this page.

For more information about the blood pressure optimisation element of the CVD Prevention Programme contact Karen Verrill.


This webinar took place on Tuesday 6th September 2022 for staff working in Primary Care Networks and included a demonstration of the UCLPartners Proactive Care Framework for Hypertension.  Attendees heard about how the free resources are being utilised across England and the support available from AHSN NENC.   Download the slide deck from the event here.

Webinar recording

Watch the recording in full below.

AHSN NENC organised a series  of Lunch and Learn sessions aimed at those working in primary care.

Session 1 – 24th January 2023

This session features a case study from South Wirral who share their experiences of improving hypertension management in their PCN.

Download slidedeck

Session 2 – 21st February 2023

The second focused on making the case for tackling hypertension to achieve better CVD outcomes with a focus on risk stratification and the support offer from the Clinical Digital Resource Collaborative (CDRC).

Download slidedeck

Session 3 (3rd March)

The third session looked at the role of the wider workforce in supporting the management of hypertension and included a couple of case studies.  In addition, there was a presentation which outlined the role that pharmacy technicians can play in supporting lipid optimisation for secondary prevention patients.

Download slidedeck


We have produced a ‘how to use your workforce differently’ resource to support practices to implement the UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks. Download the resource.

To support PCNs to manage their hypertension targets, Dr Raj Bethapudi, GP and co-chair of the ICB CVD Prevention Network, has shared some tips in this blog.

Where can I go to get my blood pressure checked? In this video, Dr Bethapudi talks about the importance of getting your blood pressure checked.

What do the blood pressure readings mean? In this video Dr Raj Bethapudi gives more information about what those numbers mean for different age groups.