Free health bus visit

Health care advisor Pauline Harker with driver Peter Laws on board the HealthBus in Elwick
Health care advisor Pauline Harker with driver Peter Laws on board the HealthBus in Elwick

VILLAGE residents are reminded of a free health service available to them on a monthly basis.

The Hartlepool Families First HealthBus is taken to Elwick and Hart once every four weeks.

Residents can make the most of information, advice and medical tests provided by qualified nurses on their own doorstep.

The bus visits Elwick on the second Friday of every month and Hart the following week.

Residents in Greatham can make the most of the service on the first Friday of every month and Dalton Piercy residents will host the bus on the final Friday.

The bus is staffed by two former district nurses, as well as a health care advisor, and visits the village from 10am-noon.

Steve Mailen, 41, postmaster at Elwick Village Post Office, said: “I think it’s important that the villagers know that this bus is there for them to use.

“It’s a good service, it’s free and it comes to our doorstep once every month.

“The bus cuts from the villages make it difficult for some residents to get into the town centre so it’s fantastic that Families First still bring the bus to the four villages.

“For many residents it is extremely useful.”

Linda Howlett, deputy manager at Hartlepool Families First, said: “The main work of the health bus is to offer a full lifestyle audit to residents throughout the town and the surrounding areas.

“As well as looking at long term health issues the nurses also offer blood pressure and cholesterol check ups as well as sexual health advice, chlamydia screening and condom distribution.

“The bus is Primary Care Trust supported and also offers weight management.

“Counselling is also part of our remit and it all comes free of charge for the residents.”