Health Talks in Potters Bar

Potters Bar United Reformed Church is pleased to be able to host a regular series of Health Talks arrenged by the Friends of Parkfield Patient Participation Group. The talks are open to all but for those who are unable to attend we record videos of the talks.

Celia Ellicott talks about Mole Awareness and Cancer – 26-4-23

It was a pleasure to have Celia Ellicott at Potters Bar URC for her talk on mole awareness and skin cancers. She ranged widely, telling us about the various types of skin cancers and their prevalence, about identification and treatments. We were shown a number of images of typical skin cancers and some thoughts about how to recognise skin blemishes that might be cancerous.

Celia, who was an oncology nurse before she started her consultancy, offers a private (paid) screening service using specialist equipment  – not available at most NHS locations she told us – that can look into skin blemishes and moles with polarised light and produce high quality large scale images which allow cancerous cells and potentially cancerous cells to be identified. Her typical client will have hundreds of moles, often in places (like on their backs) that are difficult for the individual to look at.

Celia will carry out a risk assessment based on lifestyle and family history and then take images of the whole body to capture all moles and blemishes. More detailed images can be produced for moles or blemishes that are of concern, and these are accepted by the NHS and private consultants if a referral is advised. The screening process can be repeated at intervals (typically annually) and the latest images compared with earlier ones to identify any changes that may be of concern. In the NHS, it would be usual just to look at one or two moles of possible concern at a consultation.

Celia charges £150 for a consultation, including the screening. If a referral is considered advisable it would normally be initiated by the patients GP, though direct private referrals are also possible.

Celia rounded off her talk with some advice about skin protection and sunscreens.

Interesting and informative.

Monday 18th July 2022 – Fiona Stepehen talks about Nutrition – how what you eat affects your health.

Fiona has been a Nutritional Therapist since 2010 and is a member of The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), who act as a professional body overseeing training and Continuing Professional Development for Nutritional Therapists. She’s also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).

Fiona started by telling us a bit about her professional journey to become a Nutritional Therapist, her interest having initially been triggered by her own digestive health issues and those of her family.

Her talk focused on managing the glucose/sugar levels in our blood and some of the consequences of not doing so (not least of which was becoming Type 2 diabetic), giving us insights into the way the body manages sugar levels and its effects on our health, well-being, and weight management.

Recognising that we are all individuals, her message was on the importance of achieving a personal nutritional balance, building a sustainable nutritional regime that reflected the individual’s genetic make-up, their lifestyle and their personal selections of foods from a wide choice to achieve the desired balance.

She touched on the developing science on how our digestive health (and gut biome) has a major impact on both our physical and mental health and wellbeing and the potential for personalised medical solutions in the future. She stressed that she does not offer medical diagnoses but can provide nutritional advice to support the diagnoses of medical professionals.

A fascinating and informative evening.

Tuesday 10th May 2022 – Dan Bottrill talks about his career in the Ambulance Service and the transition into Primary Care. 

One of the recent developments within our Potters Bar Primary Care Network (PCN) has been the move to employ two paramedics to support the GPs and nursing staff in providing healthcare to patients. Dan works 4 days a week at Parkfield Medical Centre and one day at Highview Medical Centre. The second paramedic splits her time between Highview and Annandale Practices.

In his talk Dan tells a little about himself, how he came decide to be a paramedic, the many steps along that road, and finally a little about the move from the Ambulance Service into Primary Care and his current role providing care to Potters Bar patients.