MOST residents in Southampton aren't concerned about blood pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic, figures reveal.

And now a charity is calling for home blood pressure monitors to be made available on prescription to take the pressure off the NHS.

In aid of Know Your Numbers! week by Blood Pressure UK, the charity says it will help save the maximum number of lives from strokes and heart disease as well as reduce the number of routine GP visits

It comes as a recent survey found that blood pressure is not a concern for 79 percent of people living in Southampton.

The figures also revealed that show that although 36 per cent of those surveyed took up exercise and 30 per cent started eating better following lockdown, 54 per cent of city residents said they aren't concerned about blood pressure because they don’t have a problem with it.

Professor Graham MacGregor, Chairman of Blood Pressure UK said: “As an individual, having your blood pressure checked is the most important step that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.

"This is why we are calling for home monitors to be available to those most in need on prescription, especially at a time when appointments with GPs and nurses are restricted which may prolong getting your blood pressure checked. It could just save your life.”

Of the 38 per cent of respondents in Southampton who had high blood pressure, 100 per cent of them preferred not to say if it was under control.

Blood Research UK also revealed that although recent research suggests high blood pressure can be linked to a higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19, 34 per cent of people won’t check their blood pressure more regularly.

The NHS already provides glucose monitors on prescription to patients living with diabetes to measure their blood sugar and help reduce the adverse effects of the condition, however now the charity wants it to be available to anyone with high blood pressure.

Key risk factors for developing high blood pressure are eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables, being overweight and not doing enough exercise.

Hemini Bharadia, Know Your Numbers! Week Campaign Manager, said: “Measuring your blood pressure at home and sharing measurements with your doctor has been shown to improve blood pressure control.

"Since high blood pressure is largely symptomless, home monitoring can really help people to feel more in control of their condition and see how well their treatments are working."