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Fishermen's Health Checks

Our popular Health Checks for fishermen take place throughout the year. These take the NHS Health Check to the dockside. We 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. This will be at the same time as the NHS Health Check. The tour starts in Newlyn and will also be harbourside in:

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  • Hayle
  • Newquay
  • Padstow
  • Mevagissey
  • Looe 

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

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

The Health Checks examine several elements:

  • height
  • weight
  • body mass index
  • blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • cholesterol

These 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
  • 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.

Fishermen working long disordered hours often having to work around the tides. This means going to see a doctor or dentist is often the last thing on a long list of jobs which include:

  • paying the mortgage
  • feeding the family
  • looking after the gear
  • maintaining the boat
  • 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. It 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. We'll announce new dates when available.