Health checks for Travellers in Lothian

A new project aimed at educating Travellers on health issues is up and running in Edinburgh and Lothian.

The Keep Well Project, run by NHS Lothian through funding from the Scottish Government, has employed two specialist nurses to provide health checks for Travellers.

The project aims to promote positive health messages and highlight risk factors which can cause heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.

James Lambie, Nurse Case Manager, Homeless & Gypsy/Traveller communities, NHS Lothian said:

“Identifying health risks as early as possible can make such a big impact on the individual.
“We discuss things like lifestyle issues, how much alcohol they drink, do they smoke and what are their eating habits. All of these things can play a significant role in helping to stay healthy.
“We are here to give advice and offer our support with any changes they want to make, we can also help them access specific services.”

Eileen McGuire, Team Leader, Keep Well Team, NHS Lothian added:

 “Access to healthcare information is often difficult for Travellers to obtain, we are here to offer health promotion advice to all age groups but specifically those over 35 years old.
“We offer health checks including a blood pressure check and a blood sugar and cholesterol check.
“We’ve had such great feedback so far and one Traveller recently admitted that if he hadn’t had the check he would never have known he had diabetes.”

David Small, General Manager, Edinburgh Community Health Partnership (CHP) added:

“This is an excellent service for travellers in the Edinburgh and Lothian area. I would urge anyone who has the chance to speak to the Keep Well team about health issues to take the opportunity.”

You can contact the Keep Well team in Edinburgh on 0131 622 7543.