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Hillary Riley from Staffordshire Libraries Service and Library volunteer Rachel Hope

Staffordshire libraries launches new scheme to support people living with long term health conditions

Visitors to Staffordshire libraries can now borrow from over 28 self-help titles to help them deal with common long-term health conditions.

At a time when over 26 million people in England report to have at least one long term condition, the new Reading Well scheme is supporting people with expert endorsed books available to borrow for free.

Developed with health professionals and people living with different conditions and their carers, the scheme encourages people to take an active role in understanding, managing and making decisions about their health and wellness.  Topics include diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as common symptoms such as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.

Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council said:

With lots of people experiencing long-term health issues, this is another effective way of helping people live with their conditions.  On average people living with long term conditions spend just four hours a year with a health professional and 8,756 hours self-managing. There is therefore an enormous need for accessible, quality assured health information to help people understand and manage their symptoms.

“We already work closely with our health partners to improve the health and well-being of our communities and it’s great to see our libraries playing a key role in this.”

Staffordshire’s Libraries Chief Gill Heath added:

“Many people see the local library as a trusted place to go for information, so a visit to your local library could now be the first step on the road to managing your health condition better.”

The titles are available in all Staffordshire libraries.   A few of the titles are also available as audiobooks, and some of them can be borrowed from the Libraries’ e-book service.  People can find out more at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/libraries