GP focus with Dr Jim Hacking

Date posted: 2nd May 2022

Our GPs are an important part of Bay Health Care Partners and here our GPs and primary care colleagues have the opportunity to talk about issues and specialties that they are working on or interested in.

Jim Hacking, GP Executive for Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, highlights the importance of measuring your blood pressure as part of May Measure Month 2022 led by the International Society of Hypertension.  

The number one contributing risk factor for global death is raised blood pressure causing strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular complications. 

10 million lives are lost each year needlessly due to raised blood pressure. 

What does this look like in Morecambe Bay?   

Dr Hacking said: "There are currently around 52,000 adults across Morecambe Bay who are registered as having hypertension and it is estimated that there are approximately 40,000 undetected cases across the Bay. You can find out more about the work that is taking place around long-term conditions and hypertension by reading the ‘Transforming our services’ section of Issue 11 of the BHCP Stakeholder Newsletter."

Who is at risk?

Dr Hacking said: "It’s not always clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are things that can increase your risk. You might be more at risk if you:

  • are overweight
  • eat too much salt and do not eat enough fruit or vegetables 
  • do not do enough exercise
  • smoke
  • do not get much sleep or have disturbed sleep
  • are over 65
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of black African or black Caribbean descent
  • live in a deprived area. "

What can I do to reduce my blood pressure?

Dr Hacking said: "It’s not always clear what causes hypertension (high blood pressure), but there are things that can increase your risk. Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help to reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high. Changes you could make are:

  • reducing the amount of salt, you eat and eating a healthy diet
  • cutting back on alcohol 
  • losing weight if you are overweight 
  • exercise regularly
  • cut down on caffeine
  • stop smoking."

How can I get my blood pressure checked?

Dr Hacking said: "The only way of knowing whether you have high blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test. All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life. 

You can currently get your blood pressure tested at a number of places including: 

  • your GP surgery
  • at some pharmacies 
  • as part of your NHS Health Check 
  • in some workplaces 
  • you can also check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor. May Measure Month has helpful tips and resources on how to measure your blood pressure at home. Let your GP know you are doing this."

Useful resources 

Alcohol and drug addiction support


Weight loss

Quit Smoking 

British Heart Foundation

May Measure Month

Accessibility tools

Return to header