Council To Promote Safe Sun Exposure This Summer

porthcressa beach newThe Council says they’re planning to actively promote safe sun messages this summer.

NHS data show that Scilly has the highest rate of skin cancer in the country.

In February, Senior Manager for Community Services, Aisling Hick, told councillors that warning people of the dangers of sun exposure was “the one piece of public health responsibility that we have to deliver locally.”

But she said there was no money to do it.

Residents in neighbouring Cornwall can access a special ‘Sunsafe’ clinic – a mobile unit where dermatologists check moles and give advice about exposure to sunlight.

But only one of these has taken place in Scilly, in July 2013.

It was paid for by a charity, the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, after the NHS and the Council said they couldn’t afford it.

At the time, Caroline Chapman, who organised the clinic, said she was surprised by the lack of awareness about skin cancer here on the islands.

And she said while money is spent on educating young people in Cornwall, that doesn’t seem to have filtered through to Scilly.

We asked the Council how they would be getting their safe sun warnings out this year.

They told us they’re committed to raising awareness about the risks of skin cancer and over the summer will be actively promoting messages designed to encourage good ‘sun safe’ practice.

They’ll also be reminding individuals how to access professional support if they have any concerns about moles or skin anomalies.

They say they are not announcing details of their campaigns at present. We asked them why, but they declined to respond.

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