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Blood Pressure Award Programme

We are funding community projects to improve the detection and management of high blood pressure in the UK.

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We want to encourage original ideas for how the UK can better identify and care for people with high blood pressure (BP).

An estimated 4.7 million adults have undiagnosed high BP, greatly increasing their risk of a devastating stroke or myocardial infarction (MI).

Our mission? To fund projects that develop, test and implement the next big ideas in detection and management.

That’s why we’re awarding £1.5 million of funding to 15 sites across the UK, from local councils to CCGs and public health collaboratives.

Their work has the potential to protect countless lives – and change how the country thinks about finding and managing these individuals.

Watch: How our fund is making a difference

Our short film tells David’s story. He was completely unaware he had extremely high BP until his community centre in Bradford was visited by an innovative local project part-funded by the BHF.

[Video embed – BP case study]

Why do we need change?

[icon] High BP affects around 27% of UK adults, yet as many as 8 million of those with this symptomless risk factor are either undiagnosed or uncontrolled without effective treatment.1

[icon] High BP greatly increases the chance of an MI or stroke and is associated with half of all cases.2

[icon] In fact, it’s the third most common risk factor attributable to early death in the UK, after poor diet and smoking.2

[icon] But its effects are largely preventable with lifestyle changes and treatment.

We urgently need to identify these people and manage them appropriately. But we know existing approaches won’t deliver the pace of change we need.

How do we compare to other nations?

In Canada, 66% of all adults with high BP manage their condition to recommended levels; in England, this is just 38%.3

The NHS Long Term Plan calls on the health service in England to raise detection rates to be in line with high-performing nations. By doing so, we can greatly reduce cases of stroke and MI.

What does our programme do?

We are making £1.5 million available to 15 sites to test new approaches to detection and management of high BP.

The programme consists of two rounds. Round one got underway in April 2017, and round two commenced in April 2019. All sites are expected to conclude their projects by September 2021.

At each of our programme sites, our funding aims to:

  • increase detection and management of people with undiagnosed high BP
  • improve access to BP testing in the community
  • strengthen support for patients to manage their high BP 
  • empower people to test their BP routinely
  • add to the evidence base on the detection and management of high BP and how new ideas are adopted

Each site applying for funding had to have a population of at least 100,000 people, and demonstrate evidence of unmet need locally, such as high rates of cardiovascular disease, premature mortality or health inequalities. High BP must have been noted as a local priority and pathways were require for identified individuals to access medical and behaviour change support.

Each site’s funding will run for two years, in which time they are committed to reach and test 5,000 people per year and undergo regular evaluation.

Who have we awarded funding to?

We are currently funding 15 sites across the UK.

[Embed map of sites in two phases]

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