Horizon Leisure Opens ‘Blood Pressure Pod’ at its Wellbeing Hub in Havant 

Published on: January 2nd 2024

SHOPPERS in Hampshire can now have their blood pressure checked and updated with their GP without even leaving the shopping centre, thanks to Horizon Leisure and health partner Health Innovation Wessex. 

Last year the charitable trust opened its Wellbeing Hub in the popular Meridian Shopping Centre in Havant to give residents access to health checks and community group exercise. Now, they’ve added a SurgeryPod to take blood pressure readings that will feed directly into local GPs’ databases. 

Hosting the SurgeryPod in this nonclinical setting is a new concept in Hampshire and enables local people to test their blood pressure in a safe, convenient, familiar location.  

Residents don’t need to make an appointment, they can simply turn up, use the ‘pod’ to take their blood pressure and the results will automatically be fed back to their GP practice via a secure computer system.  

The SurgeryPod is part of NHS England’s Innovation for Healthcare Inequalities Programme (InHIP.) The programme has been coordinated by Health Innovation Wessex in a joined-up approach with local GP practices, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, plus the Hampshire Public Health Team, who have funded the SurgeryPod.  

Local GP surgeries in Havant are inviting patients to the Wellness Hub who have not had a blood pressure check in the last five years to encourage better cardiovascular disease prevention locally.  

The installation of the SurgeryPod follows the opening of the Wellbeing Hub last year, which is conveniently located on the ground floor of the shopping mall. 

Mike Lyons, CEO, Horizon Leisure, said: “Horizon Leisure is committed to inspiring healthier and happier communities and since opening our Wellbeing Hub last summer, we are already providing our local community with health checks, health interventions, exercise orientation and small group exercise programmes out in the community. 

“The SurgeryPod is the next step in our joined-up approach to health and wellbeing, with leisure providers being well equipped to provide help and guidance on people’s overall wellness.  The pod enables people to conveniently take a blood pressure reading without clinical supervision. It’s very simple to use, with clear instructions, and is a great alternative to trying to get an appointment at their GP surgery. Plus, our team of health experts will also be available should anyone require help or have any questions. 

“By being conveniently located in our Wellbeing Hub at the shopping mall, people can pop in to get their blood pressure taken on the way to the shops or whilst meeting a friend – it takes the anxiety away from getting a blood pressure test.” 

Councillor Gwen Robinson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Lead for Communities and Housing at Havant Borough Council said: “It is heartening to see Horizon Leisure building on the success of the Wellbeing Hub with the SurgeryPod. Working in partnership with Havant Borough Council and the Meridian Shopping Centre helps deliver real benefits for residents, and I look forward to seeing this latest offer thrive and develop.” 

In time, the SurgeryPod, made by Microtech, will be able to help people quit smoking, monitor weight management and deliver contraceptive pill reviews. The aim is to allow better use of clinical time and to provide a better service for patients, allowing patients to be empowered to monitor and achieve better health.