A stroke sufferer from Tewin has urged people aged 40 and over to check their blood pressure as part of a countywide NHS campaign.

More than 200 pharmacies across Hertfordshire and West Essex have agreed to provide free blood pressure check-ups for anyone aged over 40 who hasn't had a check-up in the past six months, to prevent ordeals like the one Anne endured.

Anne, who is from the small village in Hertfordshire, said: "In the summer of 2021, while feeling totally fit and well, I suffered a stroke as a result of high blood pressure.

"I had never even considered that I may need to get my blood pressure checked.

"Fortunately I made an excellent recovery.

"It is important to get blood pressure checked as a preventative measure.

"Small changes to lifestyle, as well as medication in some cases like mine, can so easily prevent a catastrophic stroke."

Only half of the 1 in 4 adults in the UK with high blood pressure are aware of their condition, which if left untreated, can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia.

As part of the new 'Invincible feeling, invisible danger' campaign, regular blood pressure checks are being encouraged to mitigate the associated risks.

Additionally, adverts for the campaign will feature on posters across Hertfordshire and West Essex, including on town centre screens, buses and bus shelters, local publications and newsletters, and online.

The NHS hopes that the 'take a sec to check' message will reach as many people aged 40 and above as possible.

Dr Jane Halpin, chief executive of NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: "Getting your blood pressure checked could save your life.

"It’s so important for people to know about this and come forward for a quick, easy and painless check.

"Being aware of your blood pressure and taking simple steps to improve your health can dramatically reduce the chances of serious events such as a heart attack or stroke."

Information about where to get a blood pressure check can be found on the ICB’s new website: hertsandwestessex.ics.nhs.uk/bp.