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Farmers encouraged to ‘know your numbers’ at Cumbria’s biggest agricultural show

Written by on 06/09/2022

Blood pressure checks will be offered at this year’s Westmorland County Show as local nurses encourage visitors and the farming community to ‘Know Your Numbers!’

The Integrated Care Communities team, who cover GP practices across the whole of South Cumbria, will be at the show on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September.

They have delivered over 200 checks at agricultural shows throughout the summer, giving health advice to the public and signposting to further services for those who may need them.

The visit coincides with Know Your Numbers! Week 2022 (5-11 September), a national drive to reach those with high blood pressure and offer treatment and support to bring it under control.

Karen Roberts, case manager for the programme, said: “We know that people from the farming community lead busy lives with a lot of challenges and little or no time off. When they do access healthcare it tends to be in an emergency.

“Most of our blood pressure team live within the farming community so we felt the agricultural shows represented a great opportunity to reach a lot of people who simply would not have time to come and visit us in a health setting.

“We have been at shows all over the region throughout the summer. Westmorland is the biggest and we’re hoping to see as many people as possible over the two days. The show organisers have been very supportive and located us close to where the farmers are showing their livestock, so it is easy for them and visitors to come and get their blood pressure checked.”

The Westmorland County Show is a keenly attended event within the Cumbrian farming community, attracting over 30,000 visitors as a major livestock show with classes for cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, alpacas and horses.

Christine Knipe, chief executive for Westmorland County Show, said: “We are keen to do all we can to help our community stay as fit and healthy as possible. Farming is a hugely rewarding business, but it is also physically and emotionally demanding and time off is a rarity. We hope this will help make people more aware of how to manage their blood pressure.”

The theme for Know Your Numbers Week! 2022 is Measure, Modify, Manage: measure your blood pressure to see if it’s under control; modify your lifestyle if necessary; and manage your blood pressure and your health.

Getting a blood pressure check is the first step to preventing heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure is a major cause of these diseases but usually has no symptoms until it’s too late. Knowing your numbers means you can start making healthy lifestyle changes or start taking medicines if you need them to bring your blood pressure down to a healthy level.