Dundee Rotary Club and the city’s historic Guildry have joined forces in a £10,000 lifesaving mission to help people with high blood pressure.
The charitable bodies have each donated £5,000 to fund hundreds of home blood pressure monitors for patients across the city.
Cardiovascular experts say it is a major boost in helping those affected by the nation’s most common long-term health condition.
The Rotary contribution comes from the club’s £100,000 Centenary Fund, marking its 100th anniversary.
Rotary officials said they are delighted the Guildry Corporation, an even longer – established charitable institution with a history stretching back to the 13th Century – has come forward to support the project with matched funding.
One of the criteria for the Rotary Club’s centenary fund projects is the advancement of health.
Another objective is that any project should have a high enough profile to attract funding from other local charities and organisations.
Hypertension – high blood pressure – is by far the most common long term medical condition in the UK.
Undiagnosed or under-treated hypertension is one of the most significant risk factors associated with heart attacks and stroke.
Home blood pressure monitors allow early diagnosis and treatment to reduce the risk of such serious illnesses.
In pursuit of a joint healthcare project for the people of Dundee, the Rotary Club and Guildry held discussions with Isla Mackenzie, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Dundee University and consultant physician at Ninewells Hospital.
She said: “Providing blood pressure monitors that people with high blood pressure can use themselves at home is really important.
“They help people understand changes in their blood pressure in response to lifestyle changes or medications, and they help them to know when to seek additional medical advice from their GP practice.
“This is particularly important in coronavirus-times, which has prevented many high risk patients from leaving home.
“It also prevents people having to make special trips to healthcare premises just to have their blood pressure measured.
It is often better to base diagnosis and treatment decisions on blood pressure taken in the home environment rather than in the clinic environment as this gives a better indication of usual blood pressure levels.
“This is a wonderful initiative from which people with high blood pressure will hugely benefit.”
Health body’s welcome
Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership primary care programme manager, Nicola Stevens, who submitted the successful bid for funding, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the people of Dundee will benefit from these home blood pressure monitors which have been so generously donated.
“These monitors will be available through Dundee general practices and Community Nursing Services, to those who require regular blood pressure monitoring in the comfort of their own home.
“These monitors are an alternative option to the home blood pressure monitors already available in some general practices participating in the Flo telehealth blood pressure monitoring project.
Dundee Rotary Club president Clive Murray said: “It was clear at an early stage that this initiative had potential to make a significant contribution towards improvement of health in our communities.
“Through the combined efforts of Rotary, Guildry and health professionals, we are delighted that another of our Centenary projects can be implemented, bringing benefit to many across the city.”
Scott Williamson, Lord Dean of Guild, called the project “one of the most exciting projects in which we have been involved for some time”.
“We are delighted to be able to join with The Rotary Club of Dundee in their Centenary Year and make this project happen,” he added.
“It is a great opportunity for us to do something that we hope will be of huge benefit to people all over our city.”