New 'Heart Hubs' set to open throughout Wakefield to combat heart disease
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The Healthy Hearts Community Hubs, held in local community venues, are a new approach set up to help prevent heart disease, moving away from a formal medical setting.
The first sessions have already opened at Airedale Library and more will be rolled out in other community venues across the district.
Coun Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for communities, poverty and health, said: “We are really pleased to have been chosen by the NHS to pilot this important project that is working in local communities to help prevent heart disease.
“The project uses venues that people already go to, such as libraries. It’s a great way to reach more people.
“Healthy Hearts Community Hubs provide friendly, personalised support to help people better manage their own heart health and potentially avoid more serious issues.
“This initiative is a great example of what can be achieved by councils like ours, working in partnership with our colleagues in the NHS.”
Jo Webster, Wakefield District Health and Care Partnership accountable officer, said: “As a district, cardiovascular disease prevention is a key priority to improve the health outcomes for all our residents living in Wakefield.
"It can save lives, improve quality of life, and reduce hospital readmissions.
“The Healthy Hearts Community Hub aims to reduce the number of people suffering from, and dying from, cardiovascular disease by helping people understand more about their cardiovascular risk and supporting them to reduce these risks.”The hubs will operate throughout the month in different community venues, and people can either drop in or they are invited by their GP practice.
They offer added elements of support not often available at GP practices and information to help people manage their heart health, things to avoid, lifestyle changes, and making healthier choices.
Angela Lennon, one of the peer leaders, said: “I became involved in the Healthy Hearts Community Hub because I know how it feels when your health is changing.
"I was born with heart disease, which means that I have experienced the symptoms, difficulties and concerns that may affect people who develop cardiovascular disease in later life.
“I love being part of the community hubs because it’s about giving something back to people and services for me. It is also because the hubs are taking the help that people need, to them, in an informal way from people who can identify with them, as well as health professionals.”
Anyone who is interested in knowing more about peer leadership can email [email protected] for more information.
The next session of the Healthy Hearts Community Hub will be on Tuesday, November 7, at Airedale Library from 2.30-4.30pm.