During March and April this year, Public Health Norfolk will be returning to the Norfolk coast to offer free quaside health checks to the area’s fishermen

During March and April this year, Public Health Norfolk will be returning to the Norfolk coast to offer free quayside health checks to the area’s fishermen.

Norfolk County Council’s Public Health team, which commissions health checks for men aged 40-74, has teamed up with a national charity, the Fishermen’s Mission. The ‘Fish Well’ scheme will be bringing the popular NHS health checks, which usually take place in pharmacies and GP’s surgeries, out onto the quayside.

Making use of the Fishermen’s Mission mobile office to bring health care to the workplace, they will enable local fishermen to access services they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to benefit from, due to their long unpredictable hours at sea.

Fishermen who come along to the mobile office will receive a full health check, lasting between 20-30 minutes. This range of simple, confidential tests check circulatory and cardiovascular health, and provide personalised advice that can help prevent stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. Also in attendance will be the Health Trainers, who provide simple help and support to improve health both on and off shore. Everyone who takes part in a health check will receive a goody bag funded by the Sea Farers Hospital Society. This will contain a reusable water bottle, picnic box, hand sanitiser, fishermen’s health manual, and information on living a healthy lifestyle.

The scheme last visited the area five years ago, and the team are welcoming previous visitors to check their progress, as well as new faces looking to find out how they can reduce their risk of illness. They’re also keen to talk to younger men, as well as friends and family, who can find out about improving their health at work and home, including dental health and screening programmes.

Health checks will be taking place on:

Cromer Promenade (next to Henry Blogg museum), 3-4 March 2016, 9.30am – 4.30pm
Wells Quay, 9-10 March 2016, 10am – 4.30pm
Kings Lynn Port Entrance, 20-21 April 2016, 9.30am – 4.30pm
Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health at Norfolk County Council, said:

“I’m very pleased that we’ll be going out to the region’s fishermen like this. The health checks we offer have proven very popular amongst Norfolk residents, and we’re always looking for ways to help people take us up on the offer. We know that many of the biggest health risks can be addressed by early identification of problems and by making simple lifestyle changes, such as smoking, drinking and diet.

“The NHS Health Check programme is an important part of our work to help Norfolk people – wherever they live in the county – to live longer, healthier lives. The check only takes 30 minutes, so it’s quick and easy to fit it into their daily routine, but that half an hour has the potential to add years to their lives.”
Superintendent Tim Jenkins, of the Fishermen’s Mission, said:

“It’s great that the County Council have teamed up with us to deliver these health checks. Speaking from experience, I know how complicated fishermen’s working hours can be; anything that makes it easier for them to keep track of their health can only be a good thing. I’m urging every fisherman to take advantage of the scheme – it’s a really simple step that can have an enormous impact on your quality of life.”

To book an NHS Fish Well Health Check, contact the Fishermen’s Mission on 01502 565269, or email: lowestoftcentre@fishermensmission.org.uk

To book into a Health Check at your local pharmacy or GP’s surgery, visit http://www.norfolkslivingwell.org.uk/nhshealthchecks