Patients thought to have high blood pressure should have the diagnosis confirmed at home, according to new guidelines. Patients in England and Wales will be offered extra checks using a mobile device that records blood pressure over 24 hours, says the watchdog NICE.
A quarter of patients may find visiting a GP stressful, leading to misdiagnosis and being given drugs they do not need. The move could save the NHS £10.5m a year, predictions suggest.
Areas to think about:
- Are there any other health care examples where a relatively small capital investment could yield significant long-term financial savings?
- Does the NHS funding model encourage or discourage up-front expenditure to ensure long-term savings?
- Apart from the costs, what are some other potential problems with people being given drugs they don’t need?
- What is the evidence for prioritising control of hypertension (elevated blood pressure) as a means of reducing the risk of cardiac morbidity?