The stress of having your blood pressure measured in the practice can make your blood pressure go up temporarily, so your reading is higher than it should be – this is known as the white coat effect or white coat syndrome.
Coupled with the fact you can only check your blood pressure in a clinic every so often, keeping an eye on your numbers at home can give you and your doctor or nurse a more complete picture of what your blood pressure is like from day to day, and how well your treatments or lifestyle changes are working.
Many people also find that monitoring their blood pressure at home helps them feel more in control, so since 2001, NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) has recommended GPs offer home blood pressure monitoring.
Home BP monitoring Explained
We recommend you test your Blood pressure twice a day do 2 readings, the first is often higher
How to take an accurate reading on the upper arm
• Measure your blood pressure at the same time every day, when it is convenient for you
• Get yourself in a comfortable position with your legs uncrossed and your back supported
• Be still and silent whilst the reading is taken – talking and moving both affect accuracy.
• Ideally not have a full bladder as you will be less relaxed, not have exercised or had caffeine, nicotine or a large meal recently, as these can temporarily raise blood pressure.
• Wear loose clothing on your upper arm, it doesn’t matter which arm you use, but try to use the same arm each time
For a video on how to check your blood pressure at home go to: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/support/manage-your-blood-pressure-at-home
Or you can read this guide:
Recording your Blood Pressure Readings
You will need to record your Blood Pressure readings, you can do this on a record sheet which you can download from. Record readings twice a day for 5 days unless instructed differently by your doctor or nurse.
To notify us of the readings you can do this in various ways:
- submitting the form below
- Via text message
- At your next appointment
- Call surgery
There will always be some natural variation in blood pressure and we look at the average of all your readings.
If your BP reading is above 170/115mmHg recheck in 5 minutes, if it is still high then please call the surgery and speak to duty doctor, if the GP surgery is closed please call 111. If you have symptoms of blurred vision, headache, chest pain and BP remains above 170/115mmHg please go to A&E.
If your BP is persistently between 135/85 and 170/115mmHg, this may indicate that your Blood pressure is high and it is important that you do not ignore the readings. Please ensure you contact the surgery to discuss your results.
For more information, you can go to