PATIENTS needing 24-hour blood pressure checks will face much shorter waiting times at a Pickering surgery thanks to extra monitors donated by Ryedale Lions.

The new portable monitors, costing more than £1,000 each, will be worn by patients at Pickering Medical Practice to help identify those with high blood pressure.

Existing older equipment in the practice was showing signs of age, and increasing numbers of patients requiring assessment meant that there was often a waiting time of several weeks.

Dr Jim Coppack, a GP at the surgery, said: “Thanks to the Lions, we shall now be able to offer more patients in the surgery much quicker local checks with the new monitors. They will help us to measure blood pressure very accurately while the patient carries on with everyday life.

“We can then identify those most at risk and reduce the incidence of conditions such as strokes, which can be fatal or leave people with severe physical or mental injury. It can also allow us to verify those who do not have an underlying problem and do not need further treatment.”

Ryedale Lions made a donation to help the surgery buy the new monitors after one of its own members, Geoff King, was himself placed on the waiting list for a 24-hour blood pressure check. He then realised just how many people were waiting several weeks because of insufficient equipment.

Geoff said: “I explained the problem to our club members and proposed we used our funds to buy these new monitors. I know from personal experience that getting checked out quickly is very important for both your health and peace of mind and we are very happy to be able to help.”

Ryedale Lions are now in talks with other surgeries in the area to discuss how they may be able to help enhance local GP services for patients.