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Fishermen's Health Checks

Our popular Health Checks for fishermen are back again, taking the NHS Health Check to the dockside. This year we've teamed up with Smile Together Dental CiC, and The Seafarers Hospital Association to offer dental checks at the same time.

The ‘Smiles at Sea’ initiative will see volunteers from Smile Together embark upon a two week tour in a fully equipped mobile dental unit at the same time as the NHS Health Check. The tour starts in Newlyn and will also be harbourside in Hayle, Newquay, Padstow, Mevagissey and Looe. 

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The NHS Health Check Outreach team, help deliver the free national programme, helping men who traditionally keep their health problems to themselves. They often only visit their doctor when symptoms are well advanced, making their conditions harder to treat successfully. 

The team have previously worked with farmers and fishermen, and are returning due to the success of the recent campaigns, which saved lives by identifying serious health issues. 

The Health Checks examine several elements – height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, which are used to calculate the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia. Men actively working in the fishing industry, have recently retired, and are aged between 40-74 years, can just turn up and have a check for free. 

As part of National Smile Month, 'Smiles at Sea' will also see fishermen and family screened for oral cancer, receive immediate dental treatment at the harbourside, and be entitled to subsidised follow-up private dental treatment as recommended by the dentist on the day – this will be available from Smile Together’s Brighter Dental team which has practices across the county.

Turn up dockside in the following locations to get checked:

  • Newlyn - 18 and 19 June 07:00 -16:00
  • Hayle - 20 June 12:00 -19:00
  • Newquay - 21 June 11:00 - 18:00
  • Padstow - 22 June 12:00 - 19:00
  • Mevagissey - 26 June 08:00 - 16:00
  • Looe - 27 June 12:00 - 19:00 

Trevor Broom had a health check last year.

For fishermen working long disordered hours often having to work around the tides means going to see a doctor or dentist is often the last thing on a long list of jobs such as after paying the mortgage, feeding the family, looking after the gear, maintaining the boat and paying bills and quotas. Taking the health checks to the ports is a good way to deal with any health concerns people may have. 

The check itself takes 20-30 minutes and includes a discussion of the results and any steps which can be taken, for instance to reduce cholesterol or blood pressure. These conditions can often be prevented, even if there is a family history. In some cases the person may be advised to visit their GP, if their results indicate more serious problems.

For more information about Health Checks, see NHS Choices or call healthy Cornwall on 01209 615600.