National programme -

Blood Pressure Optimisation

Transforming the prevention of cardiovascular disease

Close up of nurse working on an ipad

Optimising the clinical care and self-management of people with hypertension

Supporting primary care networks to implement a proactive care framework for hypertension 

Focusing on tackling health inequalities 


Transforming the prevention of cardiovascular disease

Heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK. CVD is also a leading cause of morbidity and costs the NHS an estimated £9 billion a year and economy around £19 billion annually. And, as a major driver of health inequalities, it accounts for a quarter of the life expectancy gap between deprived and affluent communities. 

Hypertension and high cholesterol are leading risk factors for CVD and are highly modifiable, with treatment substantially lowering the risk of CVD. 

Despite this, both are underdiagnosed and undertreated. For example, around 30% of people with hypertension are unaware they have it and, of those who have been diagnosed with hypertension, around a third are not treated to target. 

Blood Pressure Optimisation Programme (BPO)  

The AHSN Network launched a national blood pressure optimisation programme in 2022, which aims to transform the prevention of CVD by optimising the clinical care and self-management of people with hypertension. 

Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) will support primary care networks (PCNs) and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to: 

  • identify patients with previously undiagnosed high blood pressure through case finding interventions 
  • optimise clinical care and self-management of people with hypertension through implementing the UCLPartners Proactive Care Framework for hypertension, which is part of the NHS Proactive Care @home programme.  
  • tackle health inequalities by targeting the 20% most deprived populations and other local priority groups. 

To find out more about the South West AHSN’s work on Blood Pressure Optimisation, please see 

Or contact Marie-Joëlle West, Programme Manager, Innovation Implementation. 

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