Thursday, 7 June 2007

Being healthy

One of the many interesting things about my place of work is that we've incorporated the PCT Library into our Central Library. The PCT has a health education role, providing information for medical professionals and the public. Siting their service in our library makes that public side much easier to achieve.

The PCT Library's manager was casting around for volunteers to help out with some training today. They've just recruited some people to act as Health Trainers, advising people - primarily over-45s - on lifestyle changes that could decrease their chances of developing cardiovascular disease and whatnot. The Health Trainers will work in GPs' surgeries, running through a questionnaire about lifestyle, diet and exercise. Today's training was about making sure they're ready to be unleashed on the public.

I went to the Quaker Meeting House - awesome '70s architecture - and sat through the hour-long questionnaire. The purpose, other than learning about how healthy I am, was to provide feedback about my Health Trainer. She was great - I made her explain her role, and what the questionnaire was for. She told me what constitutes a portion of fibre, and how much a unit of alcohol actually is. It's an interesting process, and I think it could be really valuable. Gentle intervention before people develop serious health problems can only be a good thing.