Merchant Navy seafarers and fishing crew are now invited to post-lockdown face to face physiotherapy consultations funded by the Seafarers Hospital Society (SHS).
The society has confirmed that physiotherapists offering free treatment to seafarers are now open for business and, with all Covid-19 precautions in place, it is safe to book a physical appointment at its designated places in the UK.
SHS chief executive Sandra Welch explained: 'The Society has been funding free physio treatment for fishermen and merchant seafarers for over a decade now, but when the coronavirus struck, many of the clinics offering the service had to close. Some continued to see patients virtually, but face-to-face consultations were not available. The good news is that physiotherapists are opening their doors again and seafarers need to know about it.'
Working at sea is one of the most challenging jobs in the UK and the number of work-related injuries is high. Time spent offshore means it can be difficult getting treatment, so the SHS funds fast-track physiotherapy for working seafarers. Treatment is available from a local clinic at a time that suits the seafarer and it is paid for by SHS.
'Seafarers are playing a critical role during the pandemic, keeping supply lines running, ensuring supermarkets are stocked with food and that hospitals are stocked with medical supplies,' said Ms Welch. 'But while they've been looking after everyone else, we're concerned they've been neglecting their health.
'Our message to them is that now's the time to pay attention to your own needs and if you think you might need treatment our physios are open for business. So, if you're worried about your back or your neck, or your knees are giving you trouble again, go to the SHS website and find a local physio.'
As long as the seafarer is based in the UK, the treatment is free. A list of UK physio's taking part in the scheme can be found on the Seafarers' Physiotherapy Network.
- for more information go to the SHS website Fast Access Physiotherapy section