People across St Helens are being encouraged to give their hearts some TLC this Valentine’s Day, tomorrow Friday, February 14.

The plea comes from NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Merseyside and Cheshire, as 650,000 people in the area are thought to have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

Of these around 260,000 people (40 per cent) don’t know yet they are affected and at risk.

Dr Teresa Strefford, Executive Clinical Director at the NHS Cheshire CCGs, said: “Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to make a start for a healthy heart.

"Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease, heart attacks and stroke are the main cause of death in England. But many heart attacks and strokes could be prevented.

"Lifestyle factors can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, as can high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. There are simple steps you can take to live well and look after your heart like becoming more active, limiting alcohol, eating more healthily and giving up smoking.

"Having a healthy blood pressure is essential to maintaining a healthy heart, blood pressure tests are quick, easy and free.”

Hassan Argomandkhah, Senior Clinical Pharmacist and Chair of Pharmacy Local Professional Network for NHS England Northwest, said: “More than 210 pharmacies across Cheshire and Merseyside have now signed up to provide blood pressure tests and we’re hoping this number will increase to 300 by the end of the year.

“I would encourage anyone that doesn’t ‘know their numbers’ to go and get their blood pressure checked today.”

For a list of pharmacies near you that may offer blood pressure checks, you can use our Local Service Finder Tool

Keeping on top of your blood pressure is easy to do too – and you don’t have to go to your GP, you can have your blood pressure checked at your pharmacy, or even take a short test online.

Visit for more information.