A new initiative to provide health support for fishermen in Brixham has been launched, reports Paul Scott.

The ‘Fishing for Better Health’ clinic has been specially created by SeaFit and Compass House Medical Centres to cater to the ‘challenging schedules and workloads of the fishing community’ through regular quayside surgeries.

Dr Winiger of Compass House Brixham said: “I have noted that fishermen as a population can have significant medical issues, and can struggle to attend appointments due to the nature of the work.

“In conjunction with Compass House, who already offer priority appointments, I have set up the Fishing for Better Health clinic, to try and address these issues.”

SeaFit programme manager Carol Elliott said: “We are excited at the prospect of this new partnership, and thrilled that Dr Winiger got in touch with us. We are planning around six Fishing for Better Health events in Brixham, with thanks to both the Mission and the Seafarers’ Hospital Society.”

The new clinic builds on the existing relationship between SeaFit and Compass House, which have been working together to address the difficulties fishermen often face in making and keeping health appointments when they need to be at sea.

Steph Tedstone, management partner at Compass House Medical Centres, said: “Three years ago, we first introduced our bespoke fishermen’s policy offering priority appointments and prescriptions for fishermen, helping them to easily access services at our practice.

“We hope this new accessible clinic on the Brixham quayside will enhance our existing offering, and help further remove some of the obstacles fisherman face when trying to access healthcare and wellbeing services.”

The first clinic takes place on 26 May, from 9am to 1pm, at the office of Brixham Trawler Agents. Helen Lovell, Mission area officer for Devon, will be on the quayside on the day.

“I am constantly aware of the difficulties fishermen have in pre-booking and keeping appointments – if they feel unwell, they tend to ‘just get on with it’. Unfortunately, in some cases these ailments get worse, and fishermen have had to come ashore because they haven’t heeded the warning signs,” she said.

“However, alongside the hugely successful SeaFit Physiotherapy Network, these health clinics will give fishermen the opportunity to meet with a doctor on the quayside and get those little health concerns in the back of their mind checked out with professionals.”

People can drop in on the day, or book an appointment by clicking here.

To find out more about the events, contact Helen Lovell on: 07917 754 293 or email: helenlovell@fishermensmission.org.uk

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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