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Eight GP referrals as almost 30 Bournemouth shoppers receive free blood pressure checks at Vision Express

Press Release   •   Jan 28, 2016 11:56 GMT

Two people advised to make an urgent GP appointment after Vision Express teams up with Stroke Association for health initiative

Eight people were advised to visit their GP, two urgently, following an event at Vision Express, Bournemouth, offering customers and passers-by free blood pressure checks.

Held in partnership with the Stroke Association, the ‘Know Your Blood Pressure’ clinic on Monday, 25 January raised awareness of stroke and its impact on vision.

Nearly 30 people took advantage of the blood pressure checks, with more than a quarter receiving referrals to visit their GP. Two were advised to visit their GP within a week due to high blood pressure readings.

There are almost 20,000 stroke survivors in the Bournemouth NHS catchment - 2.39% of the local population. Up to 60% of people will experience visual problems following a stroke, yet one in three are unaware that sight loss could be a problem or that treatment and support is available. Via an eye test, Vision Express optometrists can identify indicators of increased blood pressure, which is the single biggest risk factor for stroke.

During the event at the store in Commercial Road, Caroline Griffiths and Timi Kohalmi from the Stroke Association told residents about the warning signs of stroke, and how simple lifestyle changes can reduce blood pressure to a normal level.

Local resident June Hepworth from Poole was among the visitors and said: “My blood pressure has always been fine, but it was slightly high today.

“My friends and I are all over 65, so we’re at the age where thinking about preventing stroke is really important. Coming into Vision Express today and realising my blood pressure is up has really given me the boost I needed to get fit.”

Dr Dale Webb, Director of Research and Information at the Stroke Association, said: “We all value our sight; it’s the sense most people fear losing more than any other. Improved vision care for stroke survivors would help patients to regain mobility and independence, return to the workplace and make their best recovery possible following a stroke.”

Danis Otto, store manager at Vision Express Bournemouth, added: “Carol and Timi from the Stroke Association really helped make the event a success. Their knowledge and enthusiasm was really well received by the public and we had some really positive feedback.

“Early symptoms associated with stroke can include loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes, and many people don’t realise the breadth of health conditions we can be identify through an eye test. It is vital to have a routine exam at least every two years and to see an optometrist straight away if you experience any issues with your sight.”

Did you know…?

  • There are around 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK
  • By the age of 75, one in five women and one in six men will have a stroke
  • Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer and more men than prostate and testicular cancer combined a year
  • High blood pressure is a contributing factor to 54% of strokes
  • It is estimated there could be up to 6.8 million people in the UK with undiagnosed high blood pressure

For more information on the Know Your Blood pressure events visit

Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists (COO) with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test visit the Vision Express Bournemouth, 46 Commercial Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 5LP, call 01202 587 524 or visit:

About Vision Express

Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of GrandVision,the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 5,800 stores and online.

With more than 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

Vision Express is considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, with its European offering supported through sister eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D'Optique.

With around 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital.

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