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Just the tonic: Rochdale bookmarks latest Reading Well project

03 July 2017

Councillor Janet Emsley.

The next chapter of an innovative scheme will give people living with long-term health conditions a welcome tonic.

Rochdale Borough Council has signed up to the latest Reading Well project, promoting access to recommended books to help people living with long-term conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, arthritis and stroke.

There are also interesting titles giving advice on overcoming fatigue and managing pain, whilst others in the nationally approved collection offer support for relatives and carers.

Each of the 28 titles in the Books on Prescription for long-term conditions list will be available across the council’s 17 libraries when the scheme launches nationally on Monday, 3 July 2017.

'Recent statistics released by NHS England found there are over 26 million people across the country living with long-term health conditions.'

Previous Reading Well schemes for young people, adults with mental health conditions and people living with dementia have reached nearly 700,000 people across the UK.

To provide access to the scheme, doctors or health and social care professionals may prescribe a book from the recommended list, and patients can then collect their reading matter from any of the borough’s libraries.

Alternatively, the books can be borrowed, without prescription, by anyone with a Rochdale libraries card.

The prescribed books have been specially selected and reviewed by professionals and those living with long-term conditions, who have rated them as helpful and easy to use.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for libraries, said: “This is an excellent scheme which provides fantastic support to enable people living with long-term conditions to better understand their symptoms.

“Thousands of people across the borough are living with these conditions, so the more useful information they can access to help manage their ailments, the better. It’s just the tonic and yet another great service provided by the council’s libraries.”

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