Virtual care platform Suvera has been contracted by NHS North East London Integrated Care Board for a remote hypertension programme involving pharmacist-led virtual care teams.

The six-month hypertension outreach and patient management programme will be available in North East London boroughs with high deprivation levels, including Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest.

Those behind the project have said it will help ‘identify high risk patients with a suspected and known diagnosis of hypertension for early intervention across GP practices to improve cardiovascular health outcomes and reduce health inequalities’.

The programme will run until the end of the year, with patients able to use Suvera’s technology to access a Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulated, pharmacist-led virtual care team.

It has been designed to ‘proactively guide patients towards normal blood pressure with GP oversight’, said the digital health company.

'The project will aim to help reduce pressure on local GP practices by enabling early intervention with at-risk, hard to reach individuals and facilitate improvements in managing high risk conditions like hypertension,’ it added.

Last week, new analysis from the British Heart Foundation showed almost 100,000 more people have died with cardiovascular disease in England than expected in the three years since the pandemic began, 'demonstrating need' for pharmacy services, pharmacy leaders said.

Suvera is a CQC registered digital health company that supports more than 81,000 patients across more than 90 GP practices in the UK, 'combining a virtual care team and technology to reduce appointments and improve health outcomes for patients living with multiple chronic conditions', it said.

Ivan Beckley, founder and chief executive of Suvera, said: 'We’re honoured to have been chosen to deliver this project which will benefit patients and GP practices alike.

'We know first-hand how much of a strain cardiovascular disease is on the NHS – it accounts for a quarter of a million hospital admissions a year. It’s a priority for us to lead innovative care models to tackle this burden on the NHS at scale.

'Our highly-trained virtual care team is designed to use our technology to make digital-first integrated care a reality for the most complex patients, improving outcomes at lower costs.'

Kerrie Soares, senior transformation manager at NHS North East London Integrated Care Board, added: 'With hypertension being highlighted as a key priority within the NHS Long Term Plan, it is important for system partners to work together to improve residents’ access to primary care and preventive services, enabling them to live healthier for longer and reducing the risk of hospitalisation or death from a cardiac event.

'The utilisation of digital and virtual tools and platforms is just one approach to achieving better outcomes for residents with hypertension.'

In September last year, a study undertaken by the University of Oxford found that patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure are more likely to be picked up by general practice if they undergo 24-hour monitoring.

In April this year, the Company Chemists' Association estimated that community pharmacies have prevented 600 future heart attacks and strokes in the first year of the NHS Community Pharmacy Blood Pressure Check Service.