A FUNDRAISING support group has helped a Yate medical centre buy life-saving equipment.

Frenchay Hospital Cardiac Support Group has been raising funds to buy new technologies for the hospital for years but recently agreed to extend its help to GP surgeries in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Group members quickly decided to help West Walk Surgery, based in Yate’s West Gate Heath Centre, and donated £3,000 to purchase new blood pressure monitors.

Dr Cyril Kamya, who joined the surgery last year, said: "Currently anyone suspected of having high blood pressure is diagnosed by a GP with an inflatable arm cuff. But in a radical change to the existing guidelines NICE now recommends that a diagnosis of hypertension should be made using a 24-hour ambulator blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). The process involves wearing a mobile blood pressure monitor and records numerous blood measurements throughout the day and night. "The very kind and generous donation from the Frenchay Cardiac Support has enabled us to follow these new guidelines and to purchase this new equipment thereby providing a Gold Standard of care."

The practice has also bought six smaller blood pressure machines which can be loaned out to patients to measure their own blood pressure. The surgery expects that more than 100 patients per year could benefit from this equipment, saving thousands of pounds on unnecessary medication and the need to attend hospital. The Frenchay support group, which has raised more than £300,000 since forming in 1994, meets monthly and organises fundraising events throughout the year. For more information call 0117 9753551.