High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Survey Feedback

Lived Experience Survey – You Said, We Did


The Integrated Care System (ICS) partners are currently involved in working collaboratively on our “Take the Pressure Off” campaign, an initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring. In Somerset, we believe in taking proactive steps towards a healthier community, and this campaign is at the heart of that belief.

In December 2023, we invited people in Somerset to complete an online survey, to learn more about their understanding, views and experiences of high blood pressure (hypertension).  The online survey was shared through our engagement networks, in our system newsletters and on our social media. We were pleased with the number of people who took the time to complete our survey and we would like to thank everyone who contributed their experiences and views.

You Said, We Did

The survey has given us important and useful feedback that we are currently using to inform our communications activity and messaging as part of our ‘Take the Pressure Off’ campaign. We have also used the feedback to inform our engagement plans for a series of testing events across the county, taking peoples’ blood pressure and providing advice about next steps.

Below are some key findings and our subsequent actions:

  • From the survey, we heard that over 80% of those who completed the survey have a moderate to good understanding of what ‘hypertension’ means, and most understood that there are a number of associated risks, including stroke and heart attack. We will continue to highlight and spread awareness of these risks.
  • We also now know that 87.3% of respondents had previously had their blood pressure checked at their GP surgery, with just 18% visiting a pharmacy for this. This has highlighted a need to further promote the availability of blood pressure checks in community pharmacies across Somerset. Knowing this, we are better able to shape our online communications with the public and understand the conversations that are needed in-person.
  • We also now know that we need to better promote the scheme whereby blood pressure monitors are available for free use in libraries across Somerset, as respondents to the survey were not aware that blood pressure monitors are available in libraries.
  • Our survey received the most responses from those aged 65+, and so we need to ensure we engage with people across a range of ages. We also need to improve our communications with those who identify as male, as the majority of participants identify as female – with female participants making up over double the number of male participants.
  • We are currently using the learning from the survey to plan our public facing communications, to encourage people within Somerset, but particularly  men aged 40+ to have their blood pressure checked regularly.
  • The survey findings confirmed for us, that we need to do much more work to ensure that we reach out to diverse communities across Somerset and to pro-actively engage with those who may be digitally excluded or who may face barriers to engaging with us. We are committed to working with our partner organisations, particularly those within the VCFSE sector, to design, plan, assess and deliver support together. Spark Somerset, lead VCFSE organisation in Somerset, are involved in planning and delivering stakeholder engagement within our communities.

Next steps

We are currently using another online survey and focus groups to hear feedback from men in Somerset around messaging on posters aimed at those who identify as male, encouraging them to get their blood pressure tested. We are also just starting our testing events across Somerset. We will keep you updated on the outcome of both the messaging engagement and testing events, via our website. You can read more about the ‘Take the Pressure Off’ campaign, by visiting: Blood pressure – Our Somerset.

If you would like to share your thoughts and experiences related to blood pressure, please do not hesitate to contact Olivia Grant at NHS Somerset by email olivia.grant8@nhs.net.