Private and confidential health checks for farmers and their families take place monthly, between 10am and 1pm at Junction 36, Rural Auction Centre at Crooklands.
The sessions were started in 2019 to give farmers and their families living in rural and isolated communities easier access to health care. The sessions were postponed during the Covid pandemic but were restarted in July 2021.
Since the health checks began 120 full NHS Checks which include blood pressure and pulse checks, and 14 conversations around mental health have been carried out.
The sessions have highlighted undiagnosed cardiac and respiratory issues, mental health, diabetes and musculoskeletal issues in several attendees. Those diagnosed are now receiving treatment for their conditions and have regular check-ups at the sessions.
The rural health checks are an Integrated Care Community (ICC) led initiative supported by partners and local organisations.
Alison Nicholson, Lead Nurse for Kendal ICC, said: “This work has been a partnership with the Cumbria Agricultural Chaplaincy and has proved invaluable in providing access to health care for farming families. Every session is different but useful.
"Since Covid and Brexit we are seeing additional pressures including financial pressures which affect health, and so we have joined up with the local food bank, Poverty Truth Commission and Farming Community Network to ensure we can meet their needs. The team also offered a pop up Covid vaccine clinic and administered 180 vaccines in six hours.”
The next rural health check will be held on Thursday 2 February 2023 between 10am and 1pm. This session will be attended by Alison Nicholson and the Cumbria Agricultural Chaplaincy.