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Tony Heagerty, Terry McCormack
The British Hypertension Society (BHS) was established in 1980 by a group of physicians interested primarily in research. Over the years it has broadened its remit to encompass teaching and the development of best practice in hypertension management and cardiovascular risk prevention. Originally membership was restricted to people actively involved in research, but recently we have opened our doors to welcome other healthcare professionals (resident in the UK and Ireland) who are interested in the wider field. The majority of hypertension management in the UK is carried out by primary care physicians and nurses with increasing input from pharmacists. Many referrals to secondary care involve cardiologists. These practitioners are not sufficiently represented in the Society and, hence, we are keen for primary care health workers and cardiologists to apply for membership.
The Society has been instrumental in developing guidelines for the management of hypertension, which have been modified on a variety of occasions. In particular, we have interacted with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on their last two guidelines. Both the BHS and NICE guidelines are looked upon as highly influential worldwide. We have also successfully lobbied Government in respect to reducing dietary salt in foodstuffs. It is likely that more stringent Quality Outcome Framework blood pressure treatment targets will be introduced next year as a direct result of the Society’s influence. BHS Members are now on the NICE Guidelines Implementation Group, looking to develop a national ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) registry, and are involved in developing NICE guidance on device management
We have our own trial programmes with ongoing research such as the Prevention and Treatment of Resistant Hypertension with Algorithm Guided Therapy (PATHWAY) studies in progress. Our current membership includes many world-renowned figures in hypertension research.
Each year we hold an annual conference that runs parallel sessions in research and practical day-to-day management issues. We attract eminent speakers from around the world to this meeting. While the meeting is of very high quality, we also ensure that it has sessions to appeal to all aspects of care and, ultimately, we pride ourselves on being a friendly group. Obviously this is ideal for your continuing medical education.
As the Society now looks at cardiovascular risk prevention, and not just hypertension in isolation, we are also keen to broaden the membership to include those involved in the management of lipids, kidney disease, obesity and diabetes.
Please visit our website: www.bhsoc.org for more information about the Society and details of how to apply for membership. If you have any specific queries please email Jackie Howarth at
firstname.lastname@example.org who would be pleased to help.
Conflict of interest
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