Healthy Plymouth turns town centre into mini hospital
While it is never good to be ill, Plymouth City Centre Piazza was possibly the best place to feel a bit under the weather this afternoon as more than 40 health services from various organisations were on hand as part of the third annual Healthy Plymouth event.
The aim of Healthy Plymouth is to create awareness of the services and their work.
"The health sector gets a lot of bad press that tends to obscure the fact that Plymouth is home to a host of services that do amazing work and research," Karen Morse from organisers Plymouth LINK said..
The event also gave the public a chance to share their stories about their experiences with the health sector and what they would like to see improved.
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"Some of the complaints we have heard today are about opening hours and parking possibilities at general practitioners and hospitals. On the positive side, everyone expressed how pleased they were with the staff they encountered," Karen Morse said.
Visitors to the event could have their blood pressure checked, have a chat with a Street Doctor and get up close to some of the gadgets used in the health care sector not normally seen.
Karin Sherlock and Pauline Nicholson were at Healthy Plymouth representing the city's centre for prosthetics for amputees. They had brought along a number of prosthetic limbs and were on hand to explain how the limbs were made.
"We see people in all age groups and professions, including soldiers who lose limbs in conflicts overseas. We help around 800 amputees throughout the region," they said..
"To see the improvement in people's lives from the first time they come to us, through learning how to use the prosthetic limb and to witness how much it improves their quality of life is a great, great reward in our job. We think an event like this helps raise awareness about something in Plymouth the city can be genuinely proud of," they added.
Community nurse Sam O'Driscoll was checking people's blood pressure throughout the day and giving advice on how to have a healthy lifestyle.
"We have seen a few today with much too high blood pressure that we have instructed to go and see their GP in the coming week. Many people do not go and see their GP as often as they should – I would recommend that they went at least every six months," she said.
Healthy Plymouth was organised by Plymouth LINK in conjunction with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Plymouth Community Healthcare, UK Specialist Hospitals, Plymouth City Council and NHS Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Western Locality CCG.