Farmer health checks at Shropshire livestock mart

28 February 2023

Shrewsbury livestock mart health checks with Andy Bebb and Ed Garratt

Shrewsbury livestock mart health checks with Andy Bebb and Ed Garratt

Farmers attending a Shropshire livestock market had the opportunity to receive a health and wellbeing check-up.

The sessions, started with voluntary blood pressure tests for those at Shrewsbury Livestock Auction Centre and will continue for the next few weeks.

Shropshire Council’s community wellbeing outreach van will be at the livestock market, next to the café, on Tuesday mornings.

The project, which has seen Shropshire Council join forces with Shropshire Rural Support, the NFU and Halls will initially run until 21 February.

NFU Shropshire county adviser Edward Garratt, Shrewsbury NFU member and Shropshire Rural Support chair Andy Bebb, Shropshire Council Community Wellbeing Outreach Team and others were at the mart for the 31 January launch.  

Mr Bebb, who is a dairy farmer, said it was really important people looked after their health both physical and mental.

He said: “This is an idea I have been working on for 18 months and it is vitally important farmers of all ages look after their health and wellbeing as some of us are a little reluctant to get to the doctors for just a simple health check.

“If you’re at the market and have a quick blood pressure check then if it’s high or low advice can be given and while it might be something and nothing it’s better to have been looked at.

“Early diagnosis can hopefully lead to better treatment and recovery.”

He said he was pleased the council was on board to fund and support the sessions and said he would like to see other checks offered in the future, including for diabetes.

Mr Garratt stated: “We had some really good responses from farmers at the launch and a lot are working alone a lot of the time from dawn until dusk and beyond to produce food.

“Seeing a doctor and getting a check is not always at the forefront of farmers’ minds and hopefully this will really help.

“There is no need to make an appointment, farmers can just come along and use the service.”

Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and communities, said: “Small concerns that go unchecked can lead to more urgent problems down the line, so this is a golden opportunity to have a chat and get a second opinion on anything that might be troubling you, whether that relates to your physical or your mental health.

“Opportunities like this one are a key part of the Shropshire Plan, improving the health of everybody in our communities and reducing the need for longer term treatment or hospital care.”

This page was first published on 03 February 2023. It was updated on 28 February 2023.

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