Men could soon be able to have their blood pressure checked whilst having a haircut, health officials have announced.

The NHS has unveiled its plans to provide free blood pressure checks at barber shops in England in a bid to reduce the number of people diagnosed with hypertension.

Free blood pressure tests will also be made available in mosques in England, according to the NHS.

People with high blood pressure are more likely to have a stroke or heart attack compared to those with normal or low blood pressure, prior research has reported.

However, symptoms of high blood pressure can often go undetected therefore free checks are essential.

Pharmacies on the high street are already taking pressures off GP surgeries by delivering blood pressure checks.

In May 2023, approximately 149,865 blood pressure checks were given to people over the age of 40, increasing from 58,345 in 2022.

As part of the primary care access recovery plan, an additional 2.5 million blood pressure checks will take place in community pharmacies, which is set to combat roughly 1,350 strokes and heart attacks every year.

David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, said: “The enormous expansion in the number of blood pressure checks delivered over the last year is thanks to the hard work of community pharmacies, which have more than doubled the number of blood pressure checks delivered, and the innovation of local teams, going into the heart of communities, with mobile sites that can visit places like barber’s shops and dominoes clubs.

“With the number of people living with major illnesses, including heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions, set to grow substantially over the coming years it has never been more important to put in place preventative measures like easy to access blood-pressure checks that can pick up the early signs and risks.”

John Maingay is from the British Heart foundation and is encouraging people to get their blood pressure checked locally. He said: “It’s quick, easy and could help save your life.”

Currently, free blood pressure checks are being offered at a mosque in central Birmingham and a dominoes club in Brixton, as well as barber shops, supermarkets, and community centres in Barnsley.

GP surgeries in Warrington are also providing patients with home blood pressure checks via a digital app.

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