All aboard the new-look Families First Health Bus

(left to right) Pam Hargreaves, Dr Charles Brash, Eileen Amerigo, Paul Thompson and Alan Hargreaves with the Families First playbus
(left to right) Pam Hargreaves, Dr Charles Brash, Eileen Amerigo, Paul Thompson and Alan Hargreaves with the Families First playbus

IT’S all ship-shape and ready to go. That’s the Hartlepool Families First Health Bus, which went back on the roads today after a summer re-fit.

And the good news for people interested in using the bus is the services are better than ever.

Pam Hargreaves, the chair of Hartlepool Families First, said: “There is more information on health issues to access. There is a new computer system in there and the bus has been re-sprayed.”

 She added: “It’s great to see the Health Bus back in operation as it is extremely well used across the town and has been greatly missed while receiving its make-over. The services it provides have, in some cases, been the difference between life and death.

 “The bus is now looking fabulous and much more fit-for-purpose with some swanky new services and equipment, a new patient area and a brand new, shiny outside – you simply won’t be able to miss it driving around the streets of Hartlepool.”

 The re-fit was carried out throughout the summer by Pam’s father Alan Hargreaves, as well as John Pounder and Peter Laws from One77. She said: “They have worked throughout the summer on it.”

 She praised them for doing a “superb job” working on the bus without air conditioning on some of the hottest days on record.

 She added: “I would also like to express my gratitude to the many businesses who supported the refurbishment works with donations of materials and their time – the finished article is a credit to all of those who have been involved.”

 Pam added: “The main message is that it is back on the road and we are trying to encourage as many people as possible to come and use it.

 “When we originally bought the bus a few years ago the fit-out cost us around £15,000. This time, however, with the help of volunteers and a lot of generosity from local suppliers and businesses we’ve managed to do the re-fit for a fraction of that price.”

 The main focus of the HealthBus is lifestyle audits which take every aspect of a client’s life in to consideration to examine their potential risk of long term conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and stroke.

 Staff also offer lifestyle advice to help people lower the risk to their health. That includes a blood pressure check.