Physio steps in to support fishermen

THE Seamen’s Hospital Society has teamed up with physiotherapist Tony Skedd to offer free physio for Whitby fishermen.

High numbers of injuries caused by working at sea has prompted the seamen’s charity to back free, fast access physio services for fishermen in Whitby and the area.

Working at sea is one of the most challenging jobs in the UK, and the time spent off-shore means it can be a problem getting treatment for the work-related injuries many experience.

Fishermen experience considerable physical problems doing their work, and back, leg and arm injuries are most common.

Tony Skedd said: “Any fisherman in the area who is registered with a vessel can come and see me with any problem.

“I’m hoping if it takes off that it will save people having to be off sick and losing money, it will mean I can fix them up when they are on-shore and get them back out at sea.”

Research shows that gear and manual handling between them cause almost half of all injuries at sea. Trips and falls account for 13% of damage.

The Seamen’s Hospital Society is a charity that has been caring for the health and welfare of seafarers since 1821.

The SHS health development manager, Sally Hampshire, said that because seafarers spend so much time at sea it makes it difficult for them to get help from the usual treatment options in normal working hours.

She said: “That’s why the Society responded to an approach made to fund private physiotherapy for fisherman in Newlyn.

The very positive results achieved in Newlyn led us to develop similar projects in other areas.”

SHS is working in partnership with the local Fishermen’s Missions to publicise the schemes in fishing communities.

They want to raise awareness of the health needs of seafarers across the country, and show fishermen that physiotherapy treatment can help them at work and in their everyday lives.

For more information about the Seamen’s Hospital Society access: www.seahospital.org.uk

To get in touch with Tony contact him at his surgery at St Hilda’s Business Centre on 07933 223432.

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