Many people own their own blood pressure machine, which helps them to monitor their own readings in a more relaxed and convenient manner. They can be bought online, or in most large supermarkets and pharmacies.
When choosing a machine, look for one which goes around your upper arm, rather than your wrist. The cuff should wrap snugly around your upper arm. Most machines come with a medium-sized cuff. If your upper arm is larger or smaller than average, you will need to buy a different sized cuff separately. We usually use the brand Omron, but any brand approved for UK use is fine.
You can also borrow a machine from reception to use in the waiting room, free of charge. If you wish to take it home, you will need to leave a £20 refundable cash deposit.
How to take your readings
- Choose a time when you are resting and not feeling anxious or stressed.
- Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and legs not crossed.
- Relax your hand and arm on a table.
- Tighten the cuff round your upper arm with just enough space for get two fingers between cuff and your skin. The tubing should lead roughly down the centre of your arm.
- Don’t clench your fist, don’t talk, just relax.
- Press start button.
- You will feel the cuff tighten as it inflates. It may be uncomfortable for a brief time, then it will deflate automatically. If it is too uncomfortable you can press the ‘Stop’ button and the cuff will instantly deflate.
- Make a note of the reading, along with the date and time. The top number is written first, then a / then the bottom number e.g. 120/80.
- A few minutes later check it again, to make sure the readings are similar and accurate. We usually recommend taking 3 readings.
- Hand in your 3 readings at the reception desk or use the form below: